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Fake lawyer convicted in NSW court

An NSW man who told police and a judicial officer he was entitled to practise as a lawyer has been convicted.

user iconNaomi Neilson 14 December 2023 Big Law
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Matthew Laba was convicted in the Local Court for four offences relating to his engagement in unqualified legal practice and two offences of representing an entitlement to engage in legal practice.

He does not and has never held a practising certificate.

Mr Laba pleaded guilty early last month.


He was sentenced to an aggregate term of nine months imprisonment, served by way of an intensive corrections order and a community corrections order of 18 months.

Mr Laba was also fined $16,000 and ordered to pay costs.

In a statement, the NSW Law Society said people in need of legal services have a “right to expect” the person they have retained for assistance is qualified to carry them out.

“Lawyers in NSW are subject to stringent ethical obligations, including the paramount duty to the administration of justice, duties to the court and to advancing clients’ interests above their own.

“They are required to maintain the highest standards of integrity, honesty and fairness,” the statement read.

The Law Society said it would act “wherever necessary” to protect the public and clients of legal practices “from conduct that undermines confidence in the law and legal process”.

“The convictions and sentences imposed on Mr Laba today by the Local Court should serve as a deterrent to people tempted to engage in unqualified legal practice and/or falsely represent an entitlement to engage in legal practice,” it said.