Nearly 700 lawyers are currently under investigation for various malpractices, the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has revealed.

LSZ corporate communications manager Richard Chidza told The Sunday Mail that they have already deregistered 63 lawyers across the country, since the beginning of the year.

He said between 2017 and 2022, 60 lawyers were deregistered by the LSZ for bringing the profession into disrepute through their misconduct.

Some of the lawyers were disqualified from practising for misappropriating trust funds or failing to render legal services after clients had paid their fees.

Chidza revealed that the complaints lodged against legal practitioners have cumulatively risen to 698, with one “security case” dating back to 2016. He said:

"At the beginning of this year, the Law Society of Zimbabwe had 467 complaint cases that were at various levels of being dealt with, from the Secretariat, Council, through to the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Since the beginning of the year, the LSZ has received 231 new complaints, bringing the total to 698.

Cumulatively, the Law Society of Zimbabwe has decisively dealt with 197 cases within the last eight months.

The total number of legal practitioners who have been deregistered stands at 63.

We have not classified these cases according to complaints categories, but most of them include clients alleging having paid for a service they have not received from our members.

There are also cases of charging beyond the prescribed rates and abuse of trust funds."