SINGAPORE: The Court of Three Judges has ordered the Law Society to refund the legal fees incurred by lawyer and People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Christopher de Souza after a case accusing him of professional misconduct was dismissed on appeal.
Mr de Souza was accused of assisting his client to conceal evidence when handling a civil lawsuit on behalf of pharmaceutical and skincare product companies. A Disciplinary Tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct, and the Law Society sought to disqualify him for four years. The Disciplinary Tribunal originally ruled that the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP had acted inappropriately and ordered him to pay for the Law Society’s legal costs.
However, the Court of Three ruled in July this year that there was no evidence that Mr de Souza deliberately assisted his client in concealing evidence and dropped the charges against him.
In a ruling on Tuesday (7 Nov), the apex court ordered that the Law Society must refund the $32,394 legal costs paid by the governing party politician, including $18,000 in fees and $14,394 in expenses incurred by the law firm defending him.
The Court of Three ordered both parties to bear the costs of the appeal hearings themselves.
Mr de Souza’s lawyers told the press that their client felt “humbled” by the ruling and believed he had been completely vindicated. They added that the MP can finally continue to focus on his family, national and professional responsibilities.