Katrina Sriranpong, Former Immigration Lawyer, Vancouver
Katrina Sriranpong, Former Immigration Lawyer, Vancouver

Why Canadian Law Society Suspended Lawyer Katrina Sriranpong?

Katrina Sriranpong, an immigration lawyer in Vancouver, has been suspended for three months after mishandling over $70,000 in client funds.
1 min read

A Vancouver immigration lawyer, Katrina Sriranpong, faced disciplinary action from the Law Society of British Columbia despite her self-reporting and lack of client harm.

Katrina Sriranpong, who practices immigration law in Vancouver, agreed to a three-month suspension after improperly handling over $70,000 in client funds between June 2016 and November 2018.

Katrina Sriranpong, who is only a Thai-speaking immigration attorney, suspension began on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, and ended on April 17, 2022.

While no clients suffered financial losses and Sriranpong did not personally benefit from her error, the Law Society found that she failed to maintain proper records and trust accounts for handling client money from 17 clients across 22 files, involving some or all of $72,703.04 in legal fees.

She acknowledged using her personal bank accounts instead of an official trust account, lacking written confirmation of client consent to treat fees as her property upon receipt.

Across BC, law firms receive around $2 billion annually in trust deposits from clients, highlighting the importance of proper accounting practices (Law Society of BC Annual Report, 2021).

In 2022, the Law Society disciplined 26 lawyers for trust account violations out of 203 total disciplinary actions.

However, Woolley Discipline Data of 2018 found that only 0.2% of lawyers across Canada faced discipline for mishandling client funds in a given year.

Although a junior lawyer with no prior misconduct and positive contributions to the legal profession and community, Sriranpong was suspended for three months under the consent agreement.

The society noted her cooperation in self-reporting the issue and maintaining good relationships with many satisfied clients.

As a self-regulating body, the Law Society enforces rules around trust accounts to ensure proper monitoring and prevent misuse of client funds, which can lead to theft and fraud.

A LawPro Magazine’s 2017 report estimated that accounting irregularities cost Canadian law firms $300 million annually.

This disciplinary case highlights the importance of meticulous recordkeeping and approved accounting practices for lawyers handling client money, even when acting in good faith.

Sriranpong, the only Thai-speaking immigration lawyer in BC, has assisted refugees, combating human trafficking, and supported animal welfare charities.

Before her 2012 call to the BC bar, she practiced in Calgary before her solo Vancouver practice from 2014 to 2018.

One of the interviewees mentions that she is now a former immigration lawyer writing personal blogs and legal commentary on her website https://www.katrinasriranpong.com/

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Lauren Casper

Lauren Casper is a best-selling author and activist who exposes fraudulent businesses through in-depth investigations. When not fighting scams and reviewing, she enjoys being a wife, mom, and amateur baker.

1 Comment

  1. An honest lawyer who isn’t afraid of accountability. The decision from Law Society indicates she reported her own error, she had VERBAL consent from clients, but didn’t obtain WRITTEN consent. So, there was consent to use a normal bank account (instead of a trust bank account) which also explains why her clients provided letters supporting her. The Law Society Rules for BC don’t seem clear as to when consent needs to be written either. It’s definitely a gray area.

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