A paralegal who secured a job on the back of a false CV and later faked letters to hide the fact that he had missed a court date has effectively been thrown out of the profession.
Lee Colin Hull, a former employee of Clarkes in Telford, cannot work for a solicitors’ firm without the permission of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), after he accepted a regulatory settlement agreement.
The agreement to a so-called section 43 order means that he will not have to face the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. He was also rebuked, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £600.
The agreement recorded that Mr Hull was employed at Clarkes as a legal advisor. When he applied for his job, his CV “gave the impression” that he held a degree from the University of Leeds, when in fact it was from Leeds Metropolitan University.
It also claimed he attended Yale University in the US, whereas he actually submitted a research paper for the law review, which was not published. Further, the CV said he had been called to the Bar, but actually he had only completed the Bar vocational course.
In February 2016, Mr Hull accepted a police caution for the offence of fraud by false representation as a result of his false CV.
Separately, in mid-2015, he missed a court date on one of the matters he was handling. He attempted to cover his error by producing and back-dating three letters to his client which “made it appear that Mr Hull had asked for fees from his client in order to proceed with the matter”.
He made reference to the three letters in a witness statement to the court, in an attempt to explain the missed court date.
As part of the agreement, Mr Hull admitted to multiple breaches of the SRA principles, and accepted that he had acted dishonestly.
In mitigation, he said that, in 2015, his caseload was significant and “he was under substantial pressure”. Also, he has been on medication for depression for several years “which affected his judgment and he was also dealing with the death of his grandfather”.
The SRA described the agreed outcome as “a proportionate outcome in the public interest”.