A law firm and a solicitor have separately been rebuked by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for acting where there was a conflict of interest.
North Yorkshire firm Foster Law was rebuked and fined £2,000 – the maximum the SRA can sanction without a referral to the tribunal – for disclosing confidential information about one client to a second client and acted for them both when there was a conflict of interests between them. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £600.
Meanwhile, Simon Nigel Taylor of West Sussex firm Simon Taylor Solicitor received exactly the same penalty after he acted for three members of the same family in a property transaction when there was a conflict of interest, and also failed to act in their best interests while doing so.
Other rebukes recently handed out included to south London firm Haider Kennedy Legal Services, which was found to have failed to comply with a decision of the Legal Ombudsman in relation to two former clients. It was also found to have failed to deal with the SRA in an open, timely and co-operative way during the course of its investigation into the same.
The firm also received a rebuke and was ordered to pay a £2,000 fine and £600 costs.
Oghogho Emmanuel Osemwingie Ayanru of Jesuis Solicitors in Ilford, Essex received a rebuke, £1,750 fine and ban from being a compliance officer, as well as an order to pay costs of £3,000.
He applied for authorisation as a registered sole practitioner a fortnight before entering into a partnership agreement, and told neither the SRA nor the firm’s professional indemnity insurers about it then or in subsequent years.
He was further found not to have an office account reconciliation or maintain a list of office account balances for individual clients’ matters, while he failed to ensure that everyone employed by the firm maintained office account records in respect of individual client matters.
“Mr Ayanru admits that £55,958.60 of client money was incorrectly paid into the firm’s bank account on 11 May 2015,” the SRA also recorded, while he failed to provide information and documents to the SRA despite being asked to do so on a number of occasions.