MP Christopher de Souza Acquitted of Professional Misconduct

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mp christopher de souza acquitted of professional misconduct

Christopher James de Souza, a Member of Parliament (MP), has been cleared of engaging in unlawful professional conduct as a lawyer by the Court of Three Judges, the legal profession’s highest disciplinary authority. The verdict followed an earlier finding by a disciplinary board that he had helped a client suppress evidence from a court hearing. After a three-year legal battle, Mr. de Souza was vindicated by the court’s ruling that he had not intended to stop the breach.

The case against Mr. de Souza emerged while representing Amber Compounding Pharmacy and Amber Laboratories in a High Court lawsuit while serving as a partner of the law firm Lee & Lee. Amber was suing the former employee for allegedly stealing company secrets. During the proceedings, search warrants were authorised to gather information and documents from the defendants, with the express condition that the material would only be utilised in connection with the court proceedings. Amber, however, violated this agreement by giving ten documents to other authorities.

After the breach, Mr. de Souza and his group at Lee & Lee got involved in the matter. They were informed of the violation and told Amber to take corrective action, according to internal correspondence. The disciplinary tribunal concluded that Mr. de Souza did not make sure the breach was fully disclosed in an affidavit submission notwithstanding this.

Throughout the hearing, the Court of Three Judges closely examined the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) and Mr. de Souza’s legal counsel. LawSoc had accused Mr. de Souza of numerous violations and demanded a four-year penalty. The court, however, only found Mr. de Souza guilty on one count, which was the purported suppression of evidence.

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LawSoc stated that the affidavit’s imprecise wording evidenced Mr. de Souza’s purpose in suppressing the breach. On the other hand, Mr. de Souza’s legal team argued that he had behaved honourably, removing himself from the matter as soon as he learned of more violations by the client.

The Court of Three Judges found that the Law Society had not sufficiently substantiated its case against Mr. de Souza after carefully examining the facts. The evidence established that Mr. de Souza and his staff had repeatedly pressed the client to disclose the breach, and the court stressed the importance of intention as a vital part of the allegation.

Mr. de Souza expressed his joy at being exonerated after a trying three-year period following the verdict. He reiterated his commitment to protecting the integrity of the legal profession while adamantly denying the accusations made against him.

The case serves as a reminder of the high expectations placed on attorneys and the value of honesty and integrity in the legal community.

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