Nova Scotia

Ex-N.S. Liberal president disbarred after professional misconduct charges

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society has disbarred Jason Boudrot, former president of the Nova Scotia Liberal party, following allegations he improperly billed clients and misappropriated money from their trusts.

Jason Boudrot charged clients for work that wasn’t supported by records

Jason Boudrot primarily practised real estate and estate law. (Boudrot Rogers Law Offices/YouTube)

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society has disbarred Jason Boudrot, former president of the Nova Scotia Liberal party, following allegations he improperly billed clients and misappropriated money from their trusts.

Boudrot, who was a managing partner at Boudrot Rodgers and primarily practised wills, estate and real estate law in Port Hawkesbury, reached a settlement with the society Sept. 25 after being accused of professional misconduct in May of this year.

The law society said that over a nearly three-year-period between 2016 and 2018, Boudrot invoiced clients for work that wasn't supported by files and led his clients to believe their cases were progressing.

He also "caused funds to be removed from clients' trust accounts for purposes other than for clients' benefit," according to the settlement agreement.

It said in some cases, some money or all of it was returned to clients' accounts.

Boudrot, who is 48, didn't contest the findings, but also didn't admit guilt.

The barristers' society has paid out $261,115.23 in claims to 15 of Boudrot's clients. It is still assessing 37 other compensation claims.

$1.3M in debt 

Boudrot abruptly resigned from the provincial Liberal party last October, a day before a complaints investigation committee suspended his certificate to practise law.

At that time, he reported his firm's trust account was short $290,000. He was fired from his firm and Grant Thornton began a forensic audit of his work.

The audit found numerous instances where money came out of trust funds to pay invoices, but there were no records to show Boudrot did the work for which he'd billed.

When Boudrot entered into bankruptcy last December, he was $1.33 million in debt and only had about $290,000 in assets.

Former law firm folded

Boudrot's law partner, Adam Rodgers, told CBC News last October that the firm was contacting clients about what happened and co-operating with the barristers' society as it investigated Boudrot's conduct.

Boudrot Rodgers, which had offices in Port Hawkesbury, Halifax, Antigonish, Baddeck and Inverness, was renamed and then subsequently shut down at the end of 2018. (CBC)

Rodgers subsequently shut down his renamed law firm, saying he did so after discovering Boudrot's actions had landed the firm $1.5 million in debt. Fifteen people who worked there were laid off.

Boudrot, who was called to the bar in 1997, won't be able to reapply to the barristers' society for at least five years. If he does so, he'll have to pay half of the costs for a custodian for him and his former firm.

His problems don't end there. An RCMP spokesperson said Friday they have received a number of complaints about Boudrot's conduct and continue to investigate him.

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