Regulation

Partner struck off after settling PI claim for £5,000 then paying client £60,000 in fictitious damages

SDT

A partner has been struck off for dishonestly settling a personal injury claim for £5,000 without instructions, telling the client it had settled for £60,000, and then paying out the fictitious damages from unrelated client accounts.

July 28th, 2017

“No reason” for sharp rise in interventions, SRA says

Regulation and Compliance Conference

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has said it cannot explain why the number of interventions into law firms in the first five months of 2017 was twice the figure for the same period last year. The regulator said there was also a “noticeable increase” in the size of firm.

July 28th, 2017

Family lawyer who confessed “within hours” to faking letter is fined £2,000

SRA logo on brick wall

A solicitor who confessed to his law firm that he had faked a letter “within hours” of sending it to a client, has been fined £2,000 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Ian Giddings, based at the Warwick office of national family firm Woolley & Co, admitted creating and backdating the letter.

July 27th, 2017

Cybercrime against law firms higher than ever, SRA says

SRA logo on brick wall

Reports of cybercrime from law firms reached record levels in the first quarter of this year, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has said. The figures are contained in the regulator’s latest Risk Outlook, which for the first time includes questionable investment schemes involving solicitors.

July 26th, 2017

Exclusive: Bar disciplinary tribunal panel recuses itself after barrister complains of bias

BSB 1

The panel of a Bar disciplinary tribunal has taken the highly unusual step of recusing itself after an allegation that it had shown actual or apparent bias against the defendant barrister, Legal Futures can reveal. The decision is the latest twist in a long-running saga involving a barrister who has twice been cleared of other allegations in the past three years.

July 25th, 2017

Judges “left uneasy” by professionals challenging regulators as litigants in person

Iain Miller

Judges are “left uneasy” by professionals presenting their own challenges to regulators as litigants in person and ignoring the “best points” available to them, the High Court has heard. Mr Justice Green said that it was an “unfortunate feature” of regulatory proceedings that while the regulator was represented, the appellant, who did not qualify for legal aid, “frequently was not”.

July 21st, 2017

Solicitor who used office account “as personal account” is struck off

police station

A sole practitioner who did not have a client account and admitted using his office account “at times as a personal account” has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The tribunal heard that Michael Healey, based in Liverpool, misappropriated over £31,000 of client money before going bankrupt.

July 21st, 2017

CMCs rake in over £6bn in past 10 years of regulation

Kevin Rousell

Claims management companies have earned over £6bn in the past decade, new figures from the Claims Management Regulator have shown. In a special anniversary report to mark 10 years of regulation, the CMR said that the number of CMCs had shrunk from a peak in 2011 of 3,213 to 1,388 in 2017.

July 20th, 2017

Record-breaking fine for White & Case over conflict and confidentiality breaches

SRA logo on brick wall

US law firm White & Case has been fined £250,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – five times the previous highest for a firm – over client conflict and confidentiality rule breaches. The tribunal yesterday approved an outcome agreed by the firm and the Solicitors Regulation Authority that in addition a partner should be fined £50,000.

July 19th, 2017

Barrister disbarred for not disclosing previous run-in with SRA when applying to be called

Closed sign

A barrister who made failed to disclose that he had previously run a law firm shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority before he applied to be called to the Bar, has been disbarred. Meanwhile, the SDT has struck off a former partner at London firm Hamlins for forging and backdating six letters.

July 18th, 2017