Aussie lawyer struck off for trying to cheat on ethics exam

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By Legal Cheek on

Bid to smuggle notes down trousers foiled by CCTV


If a lawyer is going to trip up over an ethics exam, he might as well take a hit for a mad moment of unethical behaviour.

Australian lawyer Hendrick Jan van Es has recently been struck off the roll, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, for attempting to smuggle unauthorised notes into a local bar ethics exam.

The invigilator initially confronted van Es, suggesting he was lugging what was described as an “unusually large” bundle of notes into the exam room. The newspaper report says the lawyer refused to reveal the notes to the invigilator and was told to leave the exam room.

It is then that Big Brother gets a look in on this story. Outside the exam room, van Es is reportedly seen on CCTV separating the notes and shoving some down his trousers before re-entering the exam room.

The bar authorities refused to allow him to sit the exam, instead summoning van Es to a meeting of the New South Wales Bar Association several days later. At that hearing, the lawyer originally denied attempting to smuggle notes into the exam room.

But then the smoking gun CCTV footage was unveiled and he said something equivalent to ‘it’s a fair cop, guv’. Indeed, to be fair, the newspaper quotes a contrite van Es as saying in a letter to the bar association’s top dog: “I am ashamed of my actions.”