The Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) has decided to appoint a new Executive Officer from outside the usual civil service pool. The appointment of Tan Siew Ting McKeogh (aka Siew McKeogh) as Executive Officer, LPAB, coincides with the story in The Australian, 17 January 2019, about the departure of the long serving Louise Pritchard.
Ms Tan -Mckeogh's previous experience appears to have been in a series of small law firms, and it does not appear that the vacancy created by Ms Pritchard's departure was advertised. Nevertheless, she has now inherited Ms Pritchard's annual reporting duties, and the job of correcting the various exclusions that have been identified on this blog(see story below). The issue of Minshen Zhu and Top Group remains a live one (see story below) , especially given the gyrations in the price of the shares of that company, which are listed on the HK Stock Exchange.
The LPAB has continued to maintain its silence about its dealings with Top Group and Minshen Zhu even after t Top's share price fell and recovered sharply just before and after Top received a notice from the LPAB informing it that its license to grant LLB degrees was to be reviewed. Top disclosed the issuance of the notice dated 8 September 2018 in its 2018 annual report, which was published in late September 2018.
Between 4 September 2018 and 21 September 2018 Top's share price fell from 40 HK Cents to 34 HK Cents,before rebounding to 41 HK Cents on 21 September 2018.
Ms Tan -Mckeogh has also inherited the duty of ensuring that the LPAB's current and past annual reports reflect accurately the matters concerning Top Group, and the College of Law,.
As reported in The Australian of 17 January 2017 this writer was found by the LPAB to be not fit and proper for admission to practise in NSW on the strength of a blog posting which implicated him and the current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a million dollar scheme to bribe Australia's ABC into airing a 4 Corners episode which the LPAB believed falsely accused the former PM of Malaysia,Najib Razak, of stealing from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. It also found that this writer had harassed and threatened the College of Law and its management in the course of an investigation into the College's business affairs.
The LPAB regulates the conduct of the College's business in that it is responsible for supervising the College 's PLT program, and determining if it should be allowed to offer the PLT course. The LPAB has sole responsibility for granting the College its license to run the PLT program without which the College will cease to operate.
The LPAB is therefore in a similar position to ASIC and the ASX with regards listed companies. If either the ASX and ASIC ever attempted to accuse anyone of threatening and intimidating companies under their supervision for raising matters concerning the business of those companies senior management of the ASX ,ASIC and the companies involved would be required to provide full and complete disclosure of the matters raised and their conduct, both in public press statements and in their annual reports, duly signed by their chairman and other responsible officers. Indeed, they would also be then required to tender their resignation.
Written queries have been sent the Chairman of the LPAB, the Chief Justice Of NSW Mr Thomas Bathurst who has refused to make any public comment on any of the above matters, despite the report in The Australian on 17 January 2019.
Both he and Ms Ting -McKeogh, as well as Ms Pritchard (who appears to have left the LPAB sometime in November) have reporting duties and it is for them, individually and collectively, to provide an account of all of the above.
The Chairman will also be required to explain the departure of Ms Pritchard, and the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Ms Tan-McKeogh.