July 3, 2009

When your profession is govern by an Act of Parliament

On Friday, 3rd of July, I had to accept the fact that I forgot to pay a certain fees which is associated with being a lawyer in Malaysia. After 10 years, in which I am responsible for all the payments to any association which I have to pay on behalf of my firm, I missed a deadline. I have to be responsible as all the partners know that if it comes to their license and any correspondence with the law societies, I am the responsible partner. 

The amount that needed to be paid was RM600-00 before 30th June. The law had stated (read that, THE LAW) I have to pay RM450-00 per year for as subscription to the Bar Council. I have accepted that fact since forever. But, I actually missed it. I now have to double the payment (again, as stated by THE LAW) and I have to pay RM900 per lawyer. Mind that in my firm there are 5 lawyers. So, I have to fork out RM2,250-00 per lawyer. There is no appeal as all this is in an Act called the Legal Profession Act 1974. And the Bar Council had reminded us with various emails into my inbox.

It was not intentional I missed the payment. I had always use the emails sent by the Bar Council and the Selangor Bar, in which both I am a member in (along with all the lawyers with my firm) as a reminder. That reminder is not connected to my Blackberry as I have set them to go straight to a folder. Blackberry can't be use to read emails in folders. They just connect with your INBOX. So, dumb me, who rarely check the inbox of my old email, had missed the reminder. I actually read the first email, but as it was 3 months ago, I just let it slide.

The only part blame (which is not an excuse) which I can find is the tenacity of Bar Council of using my old email without wanting to change the address of my emails to my new one. I have this problem as I changed my firm's name last year and my firm's old name is still being used by them although we have sent various faxed letter (they can't change emails without getting a fax, which is another question altogether) asking them to change our email address. So, we still get emails from them at the old email address which I rarely check. Again, as I said, it is no excuse.

As one favourite judge I know always like to say - If you owe someone, pay it!


Now back to normal programming...

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