SRA shuts several law firms, with dishonesty allegations to the fore


The Cube

SRA: More firms closed last month for suspected dishonesty

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has closed a host of law firms in recent weeks, including two London firms on the grounds of suspected dishonesty.

LG Law Chambers, based in the East End, specialised in immigration advice, along with family, employment, private client and general civil litigation.

The SRA said there was “reason to suspect dishonesty” on the part of solicitor Ejaz Ahmad.

Another solicitor, Kashif Sultan, was alleged to have failed to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules and the SRA Principles.

According to its website, which was still up and running yesterday, the East Ham firm’s “ultimate aim” was “achieving the best results to the satisfaction of our clients”.

The website went on: “In addition to achieving the best results to the satisfaction of our clients, our key objectives include excellent client care for our clients, the provision of high quality legal services at affordable pricing, protection of clients’ confidentiality, and using the law as an instrument to achieve justice and a better society.”

Meanwhile in the West End, the SRA closed Thompson & Lilley, based in Covent Garden.

The firm said on its website that it provided a “personal, high quality legal service for private clients and small businesses, whether incorporated or not. Located in the heart of Central London, but run on a personal basis.

“Thompson & Lilley offers the level of expertise normally only encountered in major City and West End practices without the corporate mentality and charging structures that can characterise larger operations.”

The SRA said there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of partner Richard Thompson.

The regulator said it was also satisfied that Mr Thompson and fellow solicitor Richard Lilley had failed to comply with the rules made under sections 31 and 32 of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended), a broad description which relates to disciplinary breaches in general and the accounts rules.

A third London firm, sole practice Kilinc Warrington, was closed by the SRA last month. The SRA said there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Cemile Kilinc-Dollery. The firm was based in Twickenham.

Meanwhile in Cardiff, Commercial Legal Solutions was closed earlier this month, although in this case there was no allegation of dishonesty. Partner William Derek Snowdon was alleged to have failed to comply with sections 31 and 32.

The SRA said it was also necessary to intervene to protect the interests of clients and former clients, and beneficiaries under trusts in which Mr Snowdon was a trustee.

Further north, in Wigan, the regulator closed Unsworth & Wood last month. Among other things, the SRA said there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Jonathan Bede McAreavey.

In Bolton, the SRA this week closed down Ford Legal Ltd, saying there was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Mark Pearson Ford and Imtiaz Patel in connection with the firm.

Finally, the closure of Keighley, West Yorkshire firm Burr Sugden followed the decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to strike off Timothy John Wilkinson.

The highest-profile intervention of recent weeks was that of Blavo & Co.

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