A solicitor who was unaware of what he should do after he failed to secure professional indemnity insurance has agreed to remove himself from the profession.
Despite similar cases having gone to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal of late – including one of a 79-year-old solicitor with almost 50 years of “exemplary service” – central London sole practitioner David W Beech reached a regulatory settlement agreement with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that means he avoided being referred to the tribunal.
The agreement recorded that Mr Beech, who qualified in 1975, accepted that he had breach the rule by failing to notify the SRA that his firm had entered first into the extended indemnity period and then the cessation period, as required after failing to find insurance cover, and then failing to comply with undertakings given in a compliance plan dated 12 December 2013.
He also failed to keep accounting records properly written up to show his dealings with client money, and failed to obtain accountants’ reports.
In mitigation, Mr Beech said he was “unaware” of these obligations and that “no loss was occasioned to clients by reason of the admitted breaches”.
Mr Beech agreed to a £2,000 fine, to apply for his name to be removed from the roll of solicitors, and to not apply in future to be restored to it. Further, Mr Beech undertook not to be involved in any other capacity at a regulated law firm. He agreed to pay costs of £5,215.
Meanwhile, the SRA has used its sanctioning powers to issue a rebuke to Gemma Monday for practising for six months without a practising certificate. She was also found to have misled the SRA in relation to the type of work that she was undertaking between 25 July 2013 to 22 January 2014.
The conduct occurred whilst she was working as a consultant for Cardiff firm Insight Law, where she is currently listed as an associate solicitor.
She was also ordered to pay £600 in costs.