A City law firm partner has been fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) after an assault conviction following a “domestic incident”.
Darren James Wall, a commodities partner in the City office of Hill Dickinson, pleaded guilty to common assault at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court in 2014, and was in total sentenced to a 12-month community order with requirements of 12 months’ supervision, 20 sessions of an ‘integrated domestic abuse module’ and 80 hours of unpaid work.
According to a regulatory settlement agreement reached between the SRA and Mr Wall – which means the case does not get referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – Hill Dickinson “are aware of the conviction and have confirmed their support for him”.
Mr Wall, through his lawyer, notified the SRA of his arrest in July 2014 “on suspicion of common assault arising out of a domestic incident”. He pleaded guilty in September 2014.
As part of the agreement, Mr Wall admitted that by virtue of his conviction he had failed to uphold the rule of law, and had behaved in a way that diminished the trust that the public placed in him and the provision of legal services.
In mitigation, Mr Wall submitted that he had co-operated with the regulator and “shown remorse”.
The agreement also noted: “He pleaded guilty to the offence despite the complainant not supporting the prosecution, immediately disclosed his arrest to his employers, and made arrangements to self-report and keep the SRA updated.
“His probation officer has provided a positive update concerning his compliance with the community order.”
As well as the £1,000 fine, he agreed to pay the SRA costs of £1,500.
As with all such agreements, the solicitor agreed not to act “in any way inconsistent with this agreement by, for example, denying the misconduct admitted”, or face possible referral to the tribunal.
Neither Mr Wall nor Hill Dickinson had any comment when contacted.