B.C. lawyer disbarred for misappropriating $42K

The Law Society of British Columbia has disbarred a New Westminster lawyer for misappropriating $42,200 from his clients.

Bradley Darryl Tak, who was once employed by law firm Fraser and Beatty as well as the criminal justice branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General, was disbarred for two citations, with a combined 26 proven allegations including misappropriation of client funds going back to 2008, failure to respond to the law society, misleading or attempting to mislead the law society, and accounting rule breaches.

In August 1996, Tak became a sole practitioner in the Lower Mainland except for two years when he practised with Dickey Browning Ray Soga Dunne Tak.

Tak was suspended from practice several times in 2010 and 2011 for failure to file a trust report. His membership in the law society ceased in January 2011 for non-payment of fees and was not reinstated after that. He did not appear at the hearing or send anyone to represent him.

In its decision issued Nov. 27, the law society hearing panel noted: “Misappropriation of client trust funds is perhaps the most egregious misconduct a lawyer can commit. Wrongly taking clients’ money is the plainest form of betrayal of a client’s trust and is a complete erosion of the trust required for a functional solicitor-client relationship. The public is entitled to expect that the severity of the consequences reflect the gravity of the wrong.”

The panel went on to say Tak’s actions had an “obvious impact on his client victims.”

“Many, if not all, were vulnerable at the time, facing criminal charges of various degrees of seriousness, and they all needed legal representation.”

Tak is also required to pay hearing costs of $10,530.

Clients who lost money may be entitled to compensation under trust protection coverage and can file a claim with the lawyers insurance fund.

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