Rebuke for solicitor who acted for clients when they could not afford his firm

Print This Post

21 September 2016


SRA: solicitor was trying to help vulnerable clients

SRA: solicitor was trying to help vulnerable clients

An associate who acted for clients in his own time because they could not afford the fees of the firm he worked at has been rebuked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Abdul Barri, who was admitted in 2003, worked at Leeds firm Chapman Dhillon for a year between November 2013 and October 2014, and during that time his clients included three immigration clients.

According to a regulatory settlement agreement published this week by the SRA: “In the course of acting for Mr N, a Mrs S and a Mr K it became apparent that they could not afford the firm’s fees if the firm was to act for them to completion of their matters.

“Mr Barri offered to act for them outside of his practice at the firm. He charged them lower fees than the firm’s would have been. Each of these clients accepted that offer and Mr Barri did some work on their matters outside of his practice with the firm.

“Mr Barri was not authorised to act as a sole practitioner by the SRA and did not have in place any professional indemnity insurance policy in respect of work he did outside of his practice with Chapman Dhillon Solicitors Ltd.”

The SRA said that in deciding to issue a written rebuke, it had taken into account the limited extent of the work Mr Barri undertook, the small number of clients affected, and “the apparent desire of Mr Barri to help potentially vulnerable clients”.

It said the sanction was a “proportionate outcome in the public interest” because Mr Barri’s conduct was “neither trivial nor justifiability inadvertent and/or related to a failure or refusal to ascertain, recognise or comply with the regulated person’s professional or regulatory obligations”.



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Make your mark: Personal branding for barristers

stand out from the crowd

A recent Legal Futures article reported that the number complaints involving use of social media by barristers is increasing. The BSB have warned that “as social media and the internet become more prominent in our daily lives, there is an increasing need for barristers to be very careful about what they post whether in their professional or personal lives”. While inappropriate use of social media isn’t anything new, what struck me when reading that paragraph is that, for barristers, I would argue, there shouldn’t be a defining line between the personal and professional. As a barrister, you are your own USP, your personal brand is everything.

August 17th, 2017