Law Society Takes Over Cheda Firm

Law Society Takes Over Cheda Firm
Published: 2016 May 27 03:19:32 (1395 Views)
The High Court has granted the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) control and administrator powers over Cheda and Partners’ outstanding fees and liabilities pending the proper winding up of the law firm.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere follows an urgent chamber application lodged by the LSZ citing Cheda and Partners and its former senior partners, Sindiso Mazibisa, Mlamuli Ncube and Nqobizitha Ndlovu as respondents.

In its application, the industry regulator sought an order to control and continue managing the trust accounts of Cheda and Partners and collecting outstanding fees owed to the law firm and disposing of the assets before winding it up.

“The applicant be and is hereby granted control and administration of Cheda and Partners as curator with powers set out in section 16 (2) of the Legal Practitioners Act pending the winding up of the firm,” ruled Justice Bere.

The judge said LSZ deputy executive secretary Wilbert Mandinde would be the sole signatory to the firm’s accounts. Cheda and Partners was shut down in April last year after the LSZ detected alleged fraudulent transactions running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The law firm’s demise first saw its three senior partners, Mazibisa, Ncube and Ndlovu surrendering their practising certificates. They were later suspended by the LSZ pending fraud investigations, one of which was the alleged theft of $335,000, held in trust by Mazibisa.

On February 4, 2015, the LSZ was given the green light by the High Court to regulate the affairs of the law firm up to May 15, 2015. It was subsequently shut down at the end of the curatorship.

LSZ is threatened with claims amounting to $3 million emanating from theft, fraud, forgery and dishonest practices from its members, with deregistered Bulawayo law firm Cheda and Partners having the highest claim at $1million.

The LSZ administers a fund aimed at compensating members of the public who would have incurred losses due to theft, fraud and other dishonest practices committed either by a registered legal practitioner or their employees.

- Chronicle
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