Malawi Law Society (MLS) has summoned private practice lawyer, Sylvester Ayuba James to a disciplinary hearing on June 27, 2023 over suspected embezzlement of money following a complaint his client Billy Mattha Gama lodged to the institution.

The summon we have seen indicates that Gama engaged the lawyer in a civil matter where he was sued by one of his suppliers.

Client Gama alleges that James advised him to deposit K60 million into his personal account as they waiting for reconciliation with the supplier.

“Mr. Gama states that while he was waiting for the reconciliation, he withdrew K29 million through you. Mr. Gama states that after sometime, he was informed that there was a ruling from the court and that he should pay the supplier K46 million.

“He was further told to write a cheque to Kawelo lawyers, the supplier’s lawyers. It is at this point that he asked you to deposit the balance to his bank account,” the summon reads in part.

The summon further says Gama alleges that James told him he had made a mistake and deposited K11 million to Kawelo Lawyers instead of his account.

Adds the summon: “From the above account, it is alleged that you still had MK20 million from the MK60 million and this was meant for Nail Teck (MK5.9 million), Aluminium Plus (MK7.3 million) and the balance for himself, however, you did not pay.”

MLS has since leveled four charges against James including conduct may amount to embezzlement contrary to Section 38, as read with Section 89(2)(m) of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act.

Again, MLS says the lawyers conduct may also amount to failure to provide competent representation to a client contrary to Chapter 2 rule 1 of the MLS Code of Ethics.

The summon dated June 8, 2023, says the disciplinary committee shall proceed to issue procedural direction to both parties and deliver its determination if the lawyer fails to attend the meeting without a valid reason.

Lwyer Ayuba James is yet to comment on the matter.

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