Rebuke for solicitor who acted for clients when they could not afford his firm


SRA: solicitor was trying to help vulnerable clients

SRA: solicitor was trying to help vulnerable clients

An associate who acted for clients in his own time because they could not afford the fees of the firm he worked at has been rebuked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Abdul Barri, who was admitted in 2003, worked at Leeds firm Chapman Dhillon for a year between November 2013 and October 2014, and during that time his clients included three immigration clients.

According to a regulatory settlement agreement published this week by the SRA: “In the course of acting for Mr N, a Mrs S and a Mr K it became apparent that they could not afford the firm’s fees if the firm was to act for them to completion of their matters.

“Mr Barri offered to act for them outside of his practice at the firm. He charged them lower fees than the firm’s would have been. Each of these clients accepted that offer and Mr Barri did some work on their matters outside of his practice with the firm.

“Mr Barri was not authorised to act as a sole practitioner by the SRA and did not have in place any professional indemnity insurance policy in respect of work he did outside of his practice with Chapman Dhillon Solicitors Ltd.”

The SRA said that in deciding to issue a written rebuke, it had taken into account the limited extent of the work Mr Barri undertook, the small number of clients affected, and “the apparent desire of Mr Barri to help potentially vulnerable clients”.

It said the sanction was a “proportionate outcome in the public interest” because Mr Barri’s conduct was “neither trivial nor justifiability inadvertent and/or related to a failure or refusal to ascertain, recognise or comply with the regulated person’s professional or regulatory obligations”.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reports

No larger firm can ignore the demands of innovation – that was the clear message from our most recent roundtable: “The law firm of the future”, sponsored by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions. It comes in many forms, predominantly but not just technology, and is not simply a case of automating process. Expertise and process are not mutually exclusive.

Blog

10 December 2018
Barbara Hamilton-Bruce LF conf 2018

People change, people deliver

I’ve been in the midst of change for most of my career. Change was the unintended consequence of getting into PI. Change became intentional when I stepped into a senior operational role.

Read More