Regina lawyer resigns during Law Society conduct probe

Howe had connected a client with a company owned by his wife without proper disclosure. The company loaned the client money for renovations.

Article content

A long-time Regina lawyer has decided to resign from the profession instead of continuing proceedings in a Law Society of Saskatchewan probe into conduct unbecoming of a lawyer.

Advertisement 2

Article content

According to documents, William Howe applied to the Law Society to resign instead of continued proceedings on Nov. 15, 2022, which the Law Society accepted with the resignation taking effect Jan. 1.

Article content

“Resignation in the Face of Continued Proceedings is a disciplinary outcome, whereas a simple retirement or resignation would not be,” explained Valerie Payne, director of professional responsibility for the Law Society, in an emailed statement.

“It would be included in the lawyer’s discipline history and would be taken into account should the lawyer ever apply to be reinstated here or in any other jurisdiction, as well as in the context of other applications, such as for judicial appointment or for King’s Counsel designation,” Payne continued.

Advertisement 3

Article content

A complaint was made against Howe by a former client, identified as C.A. in the documents, after the client defaulted on a 2015 loan of $300,000 from a numbered company owned by Howe’s wife. Attempts to reach Howe for comment were unsuccessful.

An agreed statement of facts indicate — prior to obtaining the loan — the client lost track of invoices and that the final amount owed, $300,000, was more than she anticipated. She then contacted the contractor that completed the repairs, HC Ltd., for assistance because she was unable to pay.

The contractor then phoned their lawyer, Howe, to explain the situation. C.A. would arrange a meeting with Howe later that same day. C.A. had “few desirable options” and accepted the loan.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“(Howe) facilitated the loan between C.A. and the numbered Company without informing C.A. that the Numbered Company was owed by (Howe)’s wife on the terms originally discussed being $300,000 at a rate of 10 per cent calculated semi-annually,” the facts state.

“Interest only payments were contemplated meaning that after 5 years C.A. would still owe all of the principal and would have paid $150,000 in interest.”

The loan was taken out to cover the costs of renovations to a cottage damaged by flooding. A mortgage was taken out on the cottage and a Regina property owned by C.A. Howe threatened to foreclose on one or both properties when payments were missed.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Payments were initially missed in 2019, resulting in the threat of potential foreclosure. C.A. did catch up on payments but fell behind again in 2020. C.A. later obtained representation from another lawyer, who on July 26, 2020, emailed the Law Society seeking feedback. A complaint was submitted Aug. 14.

The statement of facts indicates that Howe is guilty of conduct unbecoming of a lawyer because he did not disclose that he was also acting on behalf of his wife, C.A.’s creditor, and the numbered company while also representing C.A.

Howe also failed to advise C.A., before he represented her in the deal, that no information about the matter from one client would be confidential with any of the others involved, failed to let C.A. that if a conflict arose that could not resolved then he could not act for all parties involved and may have had to withdraw completely, failed to advise C.A. that her creditor was his wife and that the company belonged to her, failed to recommend C.A. get independent legal advice, and failed to get written consent from C.A. in relation to everything listed.

Advertisement 6

Article content

The numbered company, 599875 Saskatchewan Ltd., is a holding company that incorporated in 1992. Its address is listed as 300-533 Victoria Avenue, also the address for Linka Howe Law Offices. 

In the same document, Howe’s prior discipline history shows he was reprimanded and fined $1,645 in 2012 for conduct unbecoming for entering into a debtor-creditor relationship with two clients through the same numbered company without ensuring the clients received independent legal advice.

[email protected]

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Regina Leader-Post has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Previous post Justice Division Secures Arrangement with Minnesota Staffing Agency to Resolve Immigration-Similar Discrimination Statements | OPA
Next post Report from the 2022 Oslo International Environmental Law Convention: The Transformative Electric power of Regulation – Tale