Legal 500 entries, eBay and air miles – bans for City law firm staff

eBay: Firm’s goods sold over four years

A senior business development executive who misled her City law firm employer that its Legal 500 submissions had been made has been banned from working in the profession.

The order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974 means Emma Shears cannot work for another law firm without the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) permission.

The regulator said that Ms Shears had worked at Lewis Silkin for 17 years before resigning in November 2021.

“It was found that Ms Shears fabricated two confirmation emails from the Legal 500 in relation to the firm’s 2019 and 2020 submissions to the directory. The purported emails were dated 12 February 2020 and 10 August 2020. She also created the 2020 application after the submission deadline and sought to pass it off as being submitted on time.”

The SRA said her conduct was dishonest.

Meanwhile, it has also made section 43 orders against Glen Warwick and Andrew La Roche, who were respectively office services manager and a finance assistant in the London office of US firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. Mr Warwick had worked there for 27 years and Mr La Roche for 19 before they resigned in October 2021.

It was found that, over the previous four years, they sold the firm’s property on eBay without its knowledge or consent, making £47,500. Again they were dishonest.

The SRA also recorded that Mr La Roche then misled another US firm in London, Milbank, when applying for a job as to the reason why he had left Faegre Drinker. He was employed there for over four months before being dismissed dismissed for failing to complete the firm’s pre-employment checks to its satisfaction.

Finally, Amoy Clarke, a legal secretary at yet another US law firm in London, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, has also been made subject to a section 43 order.

She had worked there for 18 years before being dismissed for gross misconduct in July 2019. It was found that, since November 2015, she had misused two of the firm’s air miles accounts to book flights and redeem hotel vouchers for herself and friends and family without authority or consent from the firm.

In total she booked 80 flights on 55 separate occasions. This conduct was dishonest too.

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