The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last week struck off a solicitor who used more than £500,000 from the estates of deceased clients over seven years, mainly to play the property market and repay debts. His own brother complained to the SRA after the solicitor failed to administer the estate of his own late father.
A High Court judge has overturned a decision by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to strike off a former partner of national law firm Bond Dickinson, because the distinction it drew between acting without integrity and being dishonest meant the whole case against him was flawed.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal struck off 35% more solicitors in the last calendar year than the one before, its annual report has revealed. Meanwhile, the legal costs awarded to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for bringing the prosecutions rocketed from £1.7m to over £3m – an increase of 76%.
A solicitor who transferred nearly £1.3m to an offshore bank account in Belize has been suspended for a year for breaches of the money laundering regulations and accounts rules. A disciplinary tribunal said she have have unwittingly facilitated the movement of monies during the course of a suspected fraud.
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.
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.
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”.
Complaints about the work of solicitors handling immigration appeals have finally reached the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which has fined a solicitor £10,000 for acting recklessly by signing judicial review claim forms with inaccurate grounds of appeal and failing to supervise an employee who drafted the applications.
A solicitor who applied to vary a condition on his practising certificate made when a disciplinary tribunal suspended a five-year suspension from practice, now instead faces the possibility of having the ban activated after it emerged during his application that he had breached the condition.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has thrown out charges against a solicitor for Rupert Murdoch’s News International accused of unreasonably advising and commissioning surveillance of two high-profile lawyers bringing phone hacking cases.