Nas Hanafi of Lion Legal Successfully Appeals: Charge Dismissed

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Sydney solicitor, Nas Hanafi (Nasir Hanafi), of Lion Legal, has successfully appealed the larceny conviction handed down by Magistrate Pierce in July 2013.  The Appeal was heard by, His Honour, Judge Haesler in the District Court in November 2013 and His Honour dismissed the charge and recorded no conviction.

The matter arose from the an incident at a Barrister's Chambers Christmas function in November 2012 where Nas Hanafi threw another guest's purse and passport case into a bin outside as he believed they contained an illicit substance.

His Honour, Judge Haesler, in dismissing the charge, found that Nas Hanafi was not seeking to steal the items or gain any personal advantage by what he did. His Honour noted that there was immediate restitution by Nas Hanafi and said as follows:

“Mr Hanafi is a man of good fame and character.  A solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.  The allegations against him make little sense...he has done everything possible to remedy the situation....Mr Hanafi is not a dishonest man...he is not a thief...the absence of personal advantage certainly is a matter that can also be taken into account...He is a person who I believe can be trusted with other people's money and belongings and possessions...” 
 
Nas Hanafi was represented by Lion Legal.  Barrister, Mr Joshua Grew, of Edmund Barton Chambers, in Sydney's MLC Centre, was briefed on the Appeal.  Mr Grew who practices in criminal matters, at the first instance and at the appellate level, is also an accredited and experienced mediator with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (IAMA).

The Law Society of New South Wales have made it clear that they consider that Nas Hanafi is entitled to practice unrestricted and unhindered in any way.

Lion Legal has been operating in the Sydney CBD for 5 years.  Nas Hanafi is a member of the Law Society of New South Wales and appears for clients in the Local, District and Supreme Courts in both civil and criminal matters. He also undertakes transactional matters such as conveyancing, wills and business law.  Nas Hanafi also lectures and tutors in Corporate Law at the University of Western Sydney.
 LegalReporter caught up with Nas Hanafi and questioned him about the matter as follows:

Q: How does it feel to have your name cleared?
A: It is a relief.  It was really upsetting and frustrating for me because I was not trying to, nor did I, steal anything.  Throwing the items in the bin in fact seemed like the right thing to do at the time.  I am unsure why the Police proceeded on the charge, especially as I gained nothing from my actions and had even fully compensated the guest at the party before the matter even got to Court.  I am glad the Appeal Court has dismissed the charge.

Q: Will you continue to do criminal work after your experience in the legal system?
A: Most definitely.  I now have first hand experience of what my clients go through when they are looking down the barrel of a criminal charge or when they are in the cut and thrust of litigation. Whether I am now working on an assault matter, or a commercial contract, or drafting a will, I feel more sensitive to what my clients are going through. 

Q: Do you have a different view of the legal system now?
A: My view remains the same- we have a great legal system in New South Wales and Australia, and I am proud and honoured to be a part of it.  

Q: Do you have any advice for anyone who finds themselves in your position?
A: Absolutely.  Never give up...you will get through it...although, equipping yourself with a good legal representation will most certainly help you.

Useful Links:
Law Society of New South Wales: https://www.lawsociety.com.au
Local Court of New South Wales: http://www.localcourt.lawlink.nsw.gov.au
District Court of New South Wales: http://www.districtcourt.lawlink.nsw.gov.au
Supreme Court of New South Wales: http://www.supremecourt.lawlink.nsw.gov.au
Edmund Barton Chambers: http://www.ebc44.com
New South Wales Bar Association: http://www.nswbar.asn.au
University of Western Sydney: http://www.uws.edu.au
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