Law firm fined £18,000 for working with struck-off solicitor

SRA: Fine issued

An alternative business structure has been fined £18,000 for working with a struck-off solicitor without the approval of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Denning Legal, a Windsor-based multi-disciplinary practice specialising in tax and immigration work, was found in breach of multiple principles for remunerating Andrew William Shaw.

The SRA said the firm also failed, until November 2017, “to disclose to its insurers that it had permitted Mr Shaw to be associated with it” from September 2016.

Denning Legal was also ordered to pay the SRA costs of £1,350.

Mr Shaw, formerly a partner at Stewarts Law, was actually struck off twice by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after successfully challenging its first ruling at the High Court.

However, he failed to overturn the second decision, with Mrs Justice Carr acknowledging that the end of his career was a “professional tragedy” for him.

Mr Shaw was originally struck off following a rare private prosecution by a businessman who had been litigated against by a client of Stewarts Law and complained about the way Mr Shaw and an associate had conducted it.

When they appealed on the grounds that the SDT had failed to set out properly its reasons and reasoning process, Mr Justice Jay overturned the strike-offs in January 2014 but upheld a finding of dishonesty in relation to the contents of an affidavit, and upheld another in relation to the misuse of confidential information.

The judge remitted the case to a freshly constituted tribunal to re-determine the issue of sanction relating to the findings that were upheld, and it again decided to strike him off.

Rejecting his appeal against this, Carr J said: “The nature of Mr Shaw’s dishonesty was clearly of the utmost gravity, involving as it did the deliberate misleading of the court by a (senior) officer of the court.

“As for the scope and extent of the dishonesty, even if Mr Shaw’s dishonesty did not span days, it cannot be said to have been momentary.”

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