LAWYER Luseyane Ligabalavu, 57, has been struck off the Roll of Practitioners in the country.
This after being found guilty of four counts of professional misconduct and a separate count of the same offence by the Independent Legal Services Commission.
Commissioner Justice Paul Madigan said "a clear pattern emerges of the practitioner's total disdain for authority as well as her inability to manage a legal practice within the confines of the Decree and the Code of Professional conduct".
"She ignores the requests for explanation from the chief registrar, she fails to attend scheduled arbitration instructions to repay a charge even when in receipt of the funds to do so, she fails to attend scheduled hearings in this Commission."
Justice Madigan said although she was of a mature age, she made a junior call and was obviously ill-equipped to operate a law firm on her own account. "She had even admitted as much to the commission on one occasion she did not appear."
Between January 19, 2010 and October 3, 2012, Ms Ligabalavu received a cheque for $10,000 from a client to be paid to the FNPF to clear a mortgage held by the fund over a housing lease belonging to the client and complainant, Hemant Kumar.
The money was not deposited into the Ligabalavu Law firm's trust account but into the operating account and used for other purposes, including paying the wages of employees in the firm. And in a separate case, the chief registrar had written to Ms Ligabalavu dated February 14, 2012 asking for a response to a separate complaint by March 3.
The letter was delivered to Ms Ligabalavu but there was no acknowledgment of receipt. Again on July 3, 2012, the chief registrar wrote demanding an explanation. Although Ms Ligabalavu acknowledged receiving the letter, she did not appear at the hearing to offer an explanation to the chief registrar.
"This commission has no hesitation whatsoever in finding that she is not a fit and proper person to be in practice and it is ordered that her name be struck out from the roll of practitioners in Fiji."