General Legal Council loses battle in UK’s Privy Council to have Attorney-at-Law Michael Lorne disbarred for professional misconduct

The General Legal Council (GLC) has lost its battle in the United Kingdom’s Privy Council to have Attorney-at-Law Michael Lorne disbarred for professional misconduct.

This as the Privy Council this morning dismissed the GLC’s appeal, which sought to overturn a 2021 decision by the Appellate Court that Lorne should not be disbarred but be suspended for five years.

Lorne was reportedly retained to sell a property in eastern Kingston, for which the complainant and her brother had equal shares.

A report was made to the GLC by the complainant in 2012, that the property was sold in 2011 for $6 million but she did not receive her share of the proceeds.

In his defence, Lorne said he gave her portion of the proceeds to her brother, who retained him. Lorne said he instructed the brother to send the proceeds to his sister.

He was found guilty of professional misconduct in 2017 and was disbarred.

He was also ordered to make restitution to the complainant.

Lorne appealed the decision, and in March 2021, the Court of Appeal upheld the findings of professional misconduct but varied the sanctions by ordering a five-year suspension.

In today’s ruling, the Privy Council said Jamaica’s Appellate Court’s replacement of suspension rather than disbarment was appropriate in all circumstances.

Lorne’s attorney, Bianca Samuels, who appeared in person at the Council said she was happy that her legal arguments in the Jamaican Court of Appeal were ratified by the Privy Council.

She said the Council held that disbarment would be too harsh a punishment.


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