Controversial personal injury lawyers Ronald Bobroff and his son Darren have been suspended from practising law, pending an application to have them struck off the roll.
Judge Tati Makgoka on Tuesday granted an order in the North Gauteng High Court suspending the Bobroffs, pending an application by the Northern Provinces Law Society and two of their former clients, Jennifer and Matthew Graham.
The order was to have them and the co-director of their law firm, Stephen Bezuidenhout, struck off the roll of attorneys. The high court last month placed the Bobroffs legal firm under the curatorship of the Law Society’s head of members affairs, Johan van Staden. Makgoka ordered that all monies, files and documents transferred to the firm, Taitz & Skikne Attorneys, had to be placed under the curator’s control.
Bobroff and his son fled to Australia amid reports that they were about to be arrested by the Hawks in connection with alleged fraud involving Road Accident Fund claims. Ronald Bobroff’s wife, Elaine, was arrested last month and appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court before being released on R50 000 bail.
National Prosecuting Authority director Shaun Abrahams last week expressed concern that the Bobroffs had evaded justice, but would not be drawn on possible extradition proceedings. Instead, he said he would address the matter at a press briefing next week.
The Law Society applied to have the duo struck off after it found the Bobroffs had contravened rules relating to accounting records. It was also alleged they had overcharged clients for their services. It was found, too, that the Bobroffs had unlawfully reduced their firm’s income tax and VAT liabilities, delayed in paying clients and, in some instances, failed to provide clients with final accounts.
The Road Accident Fund had said it suspected the pair of untoward practices amounting to more than R170 million in 2014 and 2015. Law Society president Anthony Millar said the curator would now have to decide who must deal with the Bobroffs’s files.