The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has allowed a solicitor to continue to practise despite the fact he used “his incompetence as a shield” against the lack of integrity that was alleged, after he unwittingly facilitated a mortgage fraud that cost his lender client £744,000.
The Law Society has obtained a groundbreaking injunction that prevents a struck-off solicitor from holding himself out as a solicitor or being involved in a law firm without its approval.
Solicitors have been given another wake-up call with regards to criminal clones this month by their regulator. In its second annual risk outlook, delivered last week, bogus law firms were elevated to being one of the key risks facing the profession. How does your firm protect itself from this risk?
A former solicitor who had to be extradited from South Africa after attempting to flee justice was last week sent to jail for six years for his involvement in what the judge described as “two quite spectacular mortgage frauds”.
The defence protecting honest solicitors duped by mortgage fraudsters that was erected by the Court of Appeal last year has been reinforced by the High Court. A law firm can be relieved of consequential liability for a breach of trust if it acts honestly and reasonably.
A quarter of conveyancing firms have experienced a client attempting to commit property-related fraud or money laundering, new research has revealed. This frequency suggests that many firms “might be over-optimistic” about the likelihood of encountering similar attempts in the future
The “popular myth” that conveyancing is low value is not borne out by the evidence, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has found. But property work is continuing to cause the regulator problems, with stamp duty land tax schemes and ‘right to buy’ negligence litigation firmly on its radar.
A lender has lost its appeal against a High Court ruling that said a solicitor was not liable for its loss in a £2.5m mortgage fraud perpetrated by her former partner because she was not aware of the misrepresentations he made.
Regulators should explore alternatives to conveyancers holding client money in a bid to tackle the risks of fraud, the Legal Services Board has recommended. However, it found regulators are working hard at the issue and that it need not intervene any further.
The Court of Appeal has reversed a ruling that held a solicitors’ firm caught up in a mortgage fraud liable for the loss after being tricked by a bogus practice. The High Court had ruled that Davisons Solicitors in Birmingham had to repay £184,500 to the Nationwide Building Society.