A sole practitioner who overcharged by 500% for private client work has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The SDT also found that Premji Naran Patel was “robbing Peter to pay Paul” by improperly moving money between different client accounts.
A former partner in a criminal law firm has described how he deliberately broke professional rules to get a murderer convicted. Steve Chittenden said: “The dilemma is between the rules and natural justice.”
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has voiced “serious doubts” over whether a solicitor, aged 79 and “with almost 50 years of exemplary service”, should have been referred to it for prosecution. Reginald Hemmings told the tribunal he found the experience “extremely distressing”.
A Bar disciplinary tribunal has suspended barrister Martin Wynne Jones for three months for representing clients in court without a practising certificate, while disciplinary action has also been taken against a barrister who falsely claimed to have a law degree, and another who made false declarations about criminal convictions.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has closed a host of law firms in recent weeks, including two London firms on the grounds of suspected dishonesty.
A solicitor who failed to issue proceedings, fabricated settlement offers and paid clients “compensation” from his own money has been struck off. Mark Davies told the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that some clients may have benefited from his actions.
A criminal lawyer who failed to report a drink-driving conviction to the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Gail Evans said she was aware of the need to report convictions but “panic had set in”.
A former president of Bolton Law Society, described by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as a “fundamentally decent man”, made 61 improper transfers from client account and used a personal credit card to keep his firm afloat. He is now working as a paralegal for the deputy vice-president of the national Law Society.
Ian Macdonald QC, one of the country’s leading immigration lawyers, has been found guilty of three misconduct offences by a Bar disciplinary tribunal. The offences relate to Mr Macdonald’s role as joint head of Kings Court Chambers in Birmingham.
The High Court has upheld the disbarment of a barrister accused of drafting false grounds of appeal for a client found guilty on drugs charges.