Convicted solicitor was “naive but not dishonest”, says tribunal


The solicitor convicted of transferring criminal property after being taken in by a charismatic conman posing as the Pope’s banker was naïve but not dishonest, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has said in explaining why it considered a £2,000 fine sufficient penalty for her misconduct.

February 20th, 2017

Legal Services Board launches probe into whether Law Society fetters SRA’s independence

Law Society - Front1

The Legal Services Board has stepped up the pressure on the Law Society’s role as the approved regulator of solicitors by announcing a formal investigation into whether the Solicitors Regulation Authority has sufficient independence.

February 17th, 2017

Law firm pioneer turned football executive is suspended by SDT

Greg Shields

A former chief executive of Cheshire-based solicitors Forster Dean, who is now a leading football administrator in Northern Ireland, has been suspended by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over accounts rule breaches.

February 15th, 2017

Call to give SRA power to strike off solicitors

Iain Miller

Disciplinary cases involving solicitors are now akin to High Court trials and there needs to be a major overhaul that would make the Solicitors Regulation Authority responsible for handing out all sanctions, including strike-offs, a former prosecutor has said.

February 15th, 2017

Bolton law firm repays insurer £100,000 for “systematically inflating” costs

Asons office 4

Claimant law firm Asons has agreed to repay more than £100,000 to AXA after admitting to falsely and systematically inflating its legal costs, the insurer said today. The dispute involved 65 personal injury cases where “Asons overstated the qualifications and experience of its legal staff to falsely inflate [its] bills”.

February 14th, 2017

Tribunal fines solicitor convicted after being taken in by ‘Pope’s banker’ conman


The solicitor who safeguarded more than £100,000 of stolen cash for a charismatic conman posing as the Pope’s banker has been fined £2,000 following her conviction for transferring criminal property. The Crown Court judge had said she was “used” by fraudster Luis Nobre.

February 14th, 2017

Rebukes for partners whose firm was tricked by fraudsters into paying away client’s money

SRA logo on brick wall

Three partners of a law firm that was tricked by fraudsters into paying the proceeds of a property sale into the wrong bank account – and did not carry out sufficient checks before doing so – have accepted rebukes from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

February 10th, 2017

Court rejects SDT appeal by solicitor who claimed he was acting as McKenzie Friend

RCJ portrait

The Divisional Court has thrown out an appeal by a solicitor disciplined after representing a client in court when he was not allowed to – and claimed he was instead acting as a McKenzie Friend and so beyond the regulator’s reach.

February 10th, 2017

Solicitor struck off for pornography conviction but continues to run unregulated firm

Stephen Coleclough

An eminent tax lawyer and former partner at leading London law firms has been struck off following his conviction for multiple pornography offences – but he continues to practise from an unregulated entity. He is also a former president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

February 8th, 2017

Small firms must publish complaints data, consumer panel insists

Dr Jane Martin

Small law firms should not be exempt from any new requirement to publish complaints data, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has argued. It said the information should be incorporated into the beefed-up ‘digital register’ planned by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

February 8th, 2017