PRETORIA – Judge Billy Mothle of the North Gauteng High Court has ordered the Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP) to resume its disciplinary hearing in the conduct of Ronald and Darren Bobroff of Ronald Bobroff and Partners (RBP).
This was the main judgement in the much-publicised case in which road accident victim Matthew Graham, and his wife Jennifer, took the Bobroffs to court as they felt that the Law Society was not paying adequate attention to their complaint.
The complaint relates to the fee agreements – there were two – and the fact that the Bobroffs had overcharged the Grahams, and not accounted to them properly for compensation received by RBP on the Grahams’s behalf from the Road Accident Fund (RAF).
Ronald Bobroff was a former president of the Law Society, and was until last month, an influential member of its controlling council.
Discovery Health funded a forensic audit of certain of RBP’s accounts relating to Matthew Graham. The report found a number of irregularities relating to the amounts paid to Graham and the fees RBP charged and recommended a more thorough investigation.
Judge Billy Mothle refused one of the Grahams’s requests. This was that the court takes over the disciplinary role from the LSNP. Bobroff told Moneyweb: “RBP welcomes the vindication of it, its Directors and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, as is evident from the judgment today handed down in North Gauteng High Court. “
Suspension from the LSNP
The LSNP Council called a special meeting last month to vote on Ronald Bobroff’s continued presence on the council. Moments before the vote was due to take place, Bobroff consented to being suspended, thus avoiding the humiliation of a vote.
Director Thinus Grobler told Moneyweb that the LSNP will be acting in accordance with the judgment.
Judge Mothle oils the wheels of justice
Judge Mothle also ordered:
- RBP must allow an independent IT expert to access their computer network within thirty days to investigate the disputed file notes;
- RBP must furnish the originals of the disputed documents of the costs consultant to determine their veracity;
- The long-awaited inspection of the books of account, including the trust account, of RBP and reporting thereon within thirty days;
- Providing for the Disciplinary Enquiry Committee, if it so decides, to require the Bobroffs to answer to the twenty disciplinary charges under oath, supported by confirmatory affidavits, prior to the commencement of the disciplinary enquiry; and
- The resumption of the enquiry within sixty days.
Here is the timetable set by Judge Mothle:
April 30: The Bobroffs have to hand over their documents and computer records.
May 15: The LSNP inspection must be completed and their findings delivered to the Grahams and the RAF
June 15: The LSNP Disciplinary Committee must have resumed their enquiry.
See comment by RBP Inc, on the North Gauteng High Court dismissal of the application brought against it, and its directors, by Discovery Medical Aid.
Moneyweb has approached RAF for comment. It will be included here as soon as it has been received.