Ethics in Action

June 24, 2014

drain

 

Henrik Jan van Es was added to the roll of legal practitioners in NSW on 17 February 2012.

Henrik Jan van Es was removed from the roll of legal practitioners in NSW on 5 June 2014.

So why did the Court of Appeal find that he was not a person of good fame and character and was not a fit and proper person to remain on the Roll? You can read the whole case for yourselves (Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of New South Wales v Hendrick Jan van Es [2014] NSWCA 169), but you get the general idea from [33]:

The only findings available on the uncontested evidence are that there was (a) a deliberate attempt to cheat in the Bar Association’s Ethics examination, (b) a deliberate attempt to deceive a senior officer of the Bar Association following Mr van Es’ exclusion from that exam, (c) a lack of candour in explaining what had occurred to the Executive Director of the Bar Association and (d) a failure, which is ongoing, extending to Mr van Es’ evidence in this Court, to appreciate the obligations of candour owed by Mr van Es.”

I am particularly “fond” of the evidence about the CCTV footage which showed Mr van Es leaving the examination room, sorting through his materials, and placing some of them down the front of his trousers & pulling his jumper down over them (no-one will notice).  Not only is there irony in cheating in an ethics exam (which is the easiest of the 3 compulsory bar exams), but he also showed sound judgment (not) in litigating this in the Court of Appeal. No doubt a promising career down the drain.

Shout out to fellow member of chambers, Luke Fermanis for alerting me to this case.

Creative commons acknowledgment for the photograph.

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