Former batonniere clashes with Quebec Bar over attendance fees

Former batonniere clashes with Quebec Bar over attendance fees
Former batonniere clashes with Quebec Bar over attendance fees

Published on: April 20, 2017 | Last Updated: April 20, 2017 1:35 PM EDT

Former president of the Quebec Bar Association Lu Chan Khuong, in 2015.

Former president of the Quebec Bar Association Lu Chan Khuong, in 2015. Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette

Another clash has occurred between lawyer Lu Chan Khuong and the Barreau du Québec, the province’s professional order of lawyers that Khuong briefly headed and hopes to lead again. 

Khuong alleges Barreau administrators illegally profited from an increase in attendance fees totalling $500,000 and on Thursday called upon Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée to intervene. Khuong’s claim comes in the middle of an election for the post of batonniere — chief spokesperson for the order — that pits her against incumbent Claudia P. Prémont and candidate Paul-Matthieu Grondin.

According to Khuong, the current administrators of the Barreau illegally increased the level of attendance fees paid to them for participating in meetings of the association from $300 to $800 without the required change in regulations.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Quebec City, Khuong contended that between 2015 and 2017, the administrators were overpaid by $501,000 and called upon Vallée to investigate. She also claimed that members of the Barreau no longer have confidence in their professional order.

Khuong’s husband, Marc Bellemare, has already sent a legal notice to the Barreau concerning the sums.

The Barreau was briefly headed by Khuong before she resigned in 2015 following allegations of shoplifting at a Simons department store. The incident made headlines, even though it was not treated as a criminal matter and its details protected by a confidentiality order.

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