find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Canadian lawyer cops it for overbilling

Canadian lawyer cops it for overbilling

A Canadian lawyer will be paying the price for “intentionally and deliberately” overbilling the provincial government by almost $100,000.

Munyonzwe Hamalengwa was roped in to defending notorious murderer and former Toronto Police traffic officer Richard Wills by Legal Aid Ontario.

Wills was convicted of first degree murder of his lover, Linda Mariani, in 2007. He murdered her in 2002.

Wills is known by many as a difficult client; he booted off several lawyers before putting Hamalengwa on the chopping block.

Hamalengwa got fired the day before his trial in May 2007.

Such was the reputation of Wills that Hamalengwa’s own lawyer, Leo Adler, once said, “Machiavelli would have been proud of Wills”.

Wills was initially rejected by Legal Aid Ontario, even after he divested himself of assets. A judge later ordered Ontario Attorney-General’s ministry to pay for Wills’ lawyer, first at regular rates, then at higher rates.

Despite getting “the proverbial client from hell”, a Law Society of Upper Canada panel still found that Hamalengwa had substantially overbilled. The panel reprimanded him for his “intentionally vague docketing practices”, and for deceiving Legal Aid Ontario.

The panel found he had billed for court attendance when he hadn’t rocked up to court, or had been there for less time than he had said.

But wait. There’s more.

Hamalengwa went on to falsely describe the work of a researcher, with whom he was also… wait for it… having an affair.

He “intentionally fabricated” invoices for her supposed work, the panel found.

The best part? She didn’t even know he had lodged an invoice.

A matter of race

In 2011, Hamalengwa cried foul of the charges against him, and claimed racial profiling was the reason behind them.

This was duly dismissed but Hamalengwa remained obstinate about bringing the statement of claim against several parties.

“Racial profiling of African-Canadians is an ongoing problem, and we deserve protection from the Federal Government, Ontario Government, and police,” the Law Times quoted him as saying.

The panel also found that while the Zambian-born lawyer “truly believed” the Attorney-General’s ministry was racially discriminating against him, it was baseless.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Canadian lawyer cops it for overbilling
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
06:04
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
06:00
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...