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Sierra Leone Judgment against MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD.
By General Legal Council of Sierra Leone
Jul 16, 2012, 12:10
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GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
PUBLIC NOTICE
 
 
The General Legal Council (Council), the supervisory and regulatory body over both legal practice and legal practitioners within Sierra Leone, is pleased to inform the general public about the judgement/outcome of the proceedings it instituted against MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD., the Defendants, in the High Court of Sierra Leone praying for several declarations and injunctions relating to the said MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD. offering or representing themselves to be capable of offering legal services in Sierra Leone including that the name of CLAS LEGAL LTD. is misleading as it creates the impression that it is capable and eligible to offer legal services in Sierra Leone.
 
The High Court concluded the said matter on the 24th May 2012 by giving judgment in favour of the General Legal Council and granted inter alia the following orders:
1. A declaration that MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD. are not eligible to practice law in Sierra Leone or to serve as legal consultants in regard to any client resident in or out of Sierra Leone in respect of work to be done in Sierra Leone.
 
2. A declaration that MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD. cannot act in consonance, collaboration or partnership with any legal practitioner registered to practice law in Sierra Leone in regard to legal work or consultancies in Sierra Leone.
 
3. A declaration that CLAS LEGAL LTD. cannot hold itself out as being eligible to perform legal work/services and/or legal consultancies in Sierra Leone.
 
4. A declaration that it is illegal for MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD. to enter into any fee splitting arrangement with any legal practitioner in Sierra Leone in respect of legal work done or to be done in Sierra Leone. 
 
5. A perpetual injunction restraining the MILLICENT LEWIS-OJUMU (nee HAMILTON-HAZELEY), Dr. PAUL CHIY & CLAS LEGAL LTD. from holding themselves out as being eligible to practice law in Sierra Leone or to carry out legal consultancies or legal work/services in Sierra Leone.
 
6. A mandatory injunction compelling CLAS LEGAL LTD. to remove from its Memorandum of Association, website, letter heads, flyers or any other adverts any words or phrases tending or purporting to represent that CLAS LEGAL LTD. is capable of offering legal consultancies or legal services/work in Sierra Leone.
 
7. A mandatory injunction compelling the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION to remove from the Memorandum of Association of CLAS LEGAL LTD. any word or phrases tending or purporting to represent that CLAS LEGAL LTD. is capable of offering legal consultancies or legal services/work in Sierra Leone.
 
8. A mandatory injunction compelling CLAS LEGAL LTD. to remove from its name the word legal which has as tendency to represent that CLAS LEGAL LTD. is capable of offering legal consultancies or performing legal services/work in Sierra Leone.
 
9. A mandatory injunction compelling the CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION to remove from the name of CLAS LEGAL LTD. the word legal which has a tendency to represent that CLAS LEGAL LTD. is capable of offering legal consultancies or performing legal services/work in Sierra Leone.
 
Council welcomes this decision by the Court and considers it as a significant impetus in its quest to protecting the general public against unqualified persons or entities who continue to hold themselves out as qualified legal practitioners when they are not so qualified.
 
Council equally views the said decision as an unequivocal warning to all those who continue to hold themselves out or represent themselves as legal practitioners or who continue to render legal services (including but not limited to acting as legal advisers, legal advisors, legal consultants or in-house solicitors/lawyers) in either corporate or private entities when they are not so qualified under Sections 10 - 15 of the Legal Practitioners Act No. 15 of 2000.
 
Council implores the general public to refrain from employing the services of any person or entity not duly qualified as legal practitioner in Sierra Leone and to immediately notify Council of such persons or entities. Council would not hesitate to take stringent legal steps against unqualified persons or entities misrepresenting or posing as qualified legal practitioners when they are not so qualified. 
 
Council wishes to reiterate to the general public in unequivocal terms the following provisions in Section 21 of The Legal Practitioners Act No. 15 of 2000:
 That practising or acting as a legal practitioner without previously being qualified; or
 That wilfully pretending to be, by employing or taking or using any name, title, addition or description which implies that you are duly qualified to practice or to act as a legal practitioner or you are recognized by law as so qualified;
is an offence for which the penalty is a fine not exceeding one million Leones or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both fine and imprisonment.
Council pledges its undaunted commitment to its mandate and would like to assure the general public that it shall always ensure that professional services and consultations offered to them by legal practitioners are in conformity with acceptable standards and professional probity.
 
Council in the light of the foregoing solicits the continuing co-operation of the general public while expressing appreciation for the general support and co-operation thus far rendered to it.
 
DATED 5th JULY 2012
GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
SECRETARIAT.

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