Shiner “let nothing get in the way” of securing high-profile and lucrative cases, says SDT

Phil Shiner

Phil Shiner was prepared to do whatever it took to secure clients and high-profile cases, along with the “reputational and financial reward” that came with them, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal concluded in deciding to strike him off as a solicitor last month. Its full 78-page ruling was published yesterday and revealed the SRA is seeking £723,000 in costs.

March 24th, 2017

Impact of Brexit on legal services “a cause for concern”, justice committee says

Court of Justice

The justice select committee has described the impact of Brexit on legal services as “a cause for concern, but not hyberbole”, in a report published today. MPs said that maintaining cross-border legal practice rights and access to “valuable regulations” on inter-state commercial law should be two of the four main justice aims for government negotiators.

March 22nd, 2017

SDT rejects plea of solicitor who claimed “perfect storm” of problems made strike-off unjust


A solicitor with nearly 25 years’ experience has been struck off for dishonestly using client funds to prop up his business and failing to pass on to an RTA client the £73,500 due to her, after a “perfect storm” of circumstances put his firm in difficulties.

March 21st, 2017

Judge orders SDT to sanction “manifestly incompetent” solicitors who took Axiom money

RCJ portrait

A High Court has referred back to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal the case of two partners he found to have displayed “manifest incompetence” in accepting £573,000 lent to their law firm by the controversial Axiom Legal Financing Fund.

March 20th, 2017

SDT rejects drug dealing solicitor’s plea for a second chance


The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has struck off a solicitor who was convicted for conspiring to supply cocaine and sentenced to three years in prison, despite his plea for a second chance. He was himself an addict and claimed he was trying to rid himself of the drug when he supplied one gram to an undercover police officer.

March 17th, 2017

SDT shows “humanity” with low-level sanction for solicitor convicted of stalking


A solicitor convicted of stalking her husband’s former lover has been fined £1,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. In what it described as “wholly exceptional circumstances”, the tribunal said that “the reputation of the profession is enhanced by some consideration of humanity”.

March 16th, 2017

Law firm rebuked after paying out client money to fraudster

Branch sign

A law firm which was duped into paying away the £333,532 proceeds of a property sale after failing to confirm a client’s email changing their bank details – which turned out to be faked – has been rebuked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

March 16th, 2017

Treasury slaps down SRA call for full independence from the Law Society

Money Laundering Series

The Treasury has rejected an argument by the Solicitors Regulation Authority that it needs full separation from the Law Society to avoid any interference in its operation of anti-money laundering rules. Instead it indicated that operational independence – which the regulator already has – was sufficient.

March 16th, 2017

SRA: No abuse of process to discipline solicitor found in breach of undertaking by court

SRA reception sign

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has rebuked and fined £2,000 a solicitor already found by the High Court to be in breach of an undertaking, rejecting the argument that this was an abuse of process.

March 14th, 2017

SRA decision to hold board meetings in private “may breach Legal Services Act”

Paul-Bennett for Legal Futures

The decision by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to close its meetings to public and press scrutiny appears to be contrary to its obligations under the Legal Services Act 2007, a leading regulatory solicitor has said. He argued that the SRA is now facing a “crucial credibility test”.

March 13th, 2017