Conveyancing assistant signed form in name of supervisor


Signature: ‘Eligible’ conveyancer needed

A conveyancing assistant who signed a form purporting to be her line manager because she was under pressure from her client has been barred from working for law firms.

Amy Lianne Jones can only take up another role at a firm regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in future if the regulator approves it.

A regulatory settlement agreement published yesterday said that Ms Jones, who had worked at Boyes Turner in Reading for nearly two years at the time she was dismissed in February 2023 because of the incident, was instructed on the purchase of a residential property.

The client intended to draw down funds from a Lifetime ISA to complete the purchase. To do so, the firm needed to complete a ‘model conveyancer declaration’ form for the Lifetime ISA manager. It had to be signed by an ‘eligible’ conveyancer.

In December 2022, Ms Jones completed and signed the form, purporting to be her line manager.

The client complained because the Lifetime ISA funds were not available in time for completion and they lost their government bonus. When reviewing the file to respond to the complaint, the firm identified what Ms Jones had done and commenced a disciplinary investigation.

She admitted that she had signed the form because her line manager was out of the office “and she felt pressured by the client to complete his purchase”.

Ms Jones apologised and acknowledged that she should not have done it. She said it was a ‘moment of madness’ and that it was an isolated incident.

In the agreement with the SRA, she accepted that she had been dishonest and that it was “undesirable for her to be involved in a legal practice”.

The SRA acknowledged that she had no previous history of acting in a dishonest way, had “exercised poor judgement due to pressure of work and a heavy caseload” and had shown “insight and remorse to the firm” and cooperated with the SRA’s investigation.

The regulator said the order controlling where Ms Jones could work, made under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974, was appropriate “because it demonstrates that when under pressure, she acted in a way that was dishonest and does not uphold public trust and confidence”.

It added: “There is a strong public interest in potential employers that are authorised and regulated by the SRA, knowing of Mrs Jones’ conduct and the risk she presents.”




    Readers Comments

  • Mark Stillman says:

    This is rather harsh. Swip £66m, and relatively minor issues, sign a document to get a transaction over the line, funds always go to the firm…big issue.
    Her conduct is far from ideal but sanction truly excessive!

  • MARK MARSHALL says:

    So a young assistant – suddenly is viewed as dishonest but when a solicitor or Barrister is found wanting. They often, get treated far more leniency and carry on working ??


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