Kelowna lawyer suspended for overcharging clients

A Kelowna man has been forbidden by the Law Society from practicing law in B.C.
Image Credit: Law Society of B.C.

KELOWNA - A local lawyer has been suspended for overcharging two clients in 2011.

Christopher R. Penty admitted to a Law Society of B.C. panel that he issued bills that misrepresented the amount he was entitled and then lied to a Supreme Court master.

On Oct. 29 the panel suspended Penty for four months. His suspension starts Jan. 1, 2016, and expires May 1.

According to the society website, Penty billed clients for his time spent working on a case, when in fact his legal assistant completed the work. To cover his actions, Penty then testified his assistant had only started working for him in 2011 when she had in fact started with his law firm, Penty and Company, in 2009. 

He testified that her time was a 'very minor part' of the time billed, however timesheets reflected her time was approximately 40 per cent of what the clients were billed.

This is the second time Penty has been suspended by the Law Society. In 2001 a Law Society found him guilty of professional misconduct and he was suspended for two months.

The society represents 11,000 practicing lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

— This story was corrected at 8 a.m. Nov. 13 to change the date at which the suspension concludes. Thanks to Lori Tetreau for pointing out the error.


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