18th April 2023

To Members & Pupils of the Selangor Bar,

Recently, the Bar Council issued a circular on touting (Circular No. 075/2023, March 14, 2023) in which the Bar Council expressed grave concerns about allegations of touting being practiced within the legal profession.

The Selangor Bar Committee also has the same concerns and considers such practices as reprehensible. If there are lawyers who have engaged pupils in chambers / touts / bogus lawyers and/or their services to directly and/or indirectly approach and/or solicit clients and/or potential clients, we would like to remind our members of the following provisions: -

Section 94(3)(h) of the Legal Profession Act 1976 and Rule 51 of the Legal Profession (Practice & Etiquette) Rules 1978 distinctly view touting as professional misconduct and that it may lead to sanctions, suspension or being struck off the Roll.

Section 15A of the Minor Offences Act 1955 states that any person found guilty of touting commits an offence "punishable with a fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both".

The Rules and Rulings of the Bar Council also sets out the prohibition of the practice of touting, as stated below:

14.23. Payment for introducing clients
The acceptance by an Advocate and Solicitor ("Introducer") of any form of payment (such as commission) from any person merely for introducing clients to such person without the provision of legal services by the Introducer, is tantamount to touting on the part of the Introducer. Likewise, an Advocate and Solicitor shall not make any form of payment to any person for introducing clients to such Advocate and Solicitor. Provided that this Ruling shall not prohibit the sharing of fees and costs by an Advocate and Solicitor with a qualified person, for legal services rendered by the Advocate and Solicitor.

17.08. No touting
Nothing in these Rules shall be construed as permitting the doing of or causing or allowing to be done of anything which, in the opinion of the Bar Council, is for the purpose of touting directly or indirectly, or which, in the opinion of the Bar Council, is calculated to suggest that it is done for that purpose.

To eliminate touting, the Bar Council is currently collecting information and reports on lawyers/law firms from Members of the Bar and the public in preparation to investigate these lawyers/law firms.

Members may lodge reports via the link below or scan the QR code above, created for issues concerning touting. Members are encouraged to upload any documents or evidence (if available) when recording the reports into the log, as it will aid Bar Council in its investigation. The identities of those lodging the reports and all information received on the online report log will be kept strictly private and confidential.

Kindly click here

Thank you.

M K Thas
Selangor Bar Committee


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