Three Fladgate partners to face SDT over client account allegations


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SRA: “no underlying legal transaction”

Three partners at well-known London law firm Fladgate have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

The 73-partner firm has said it is “fully supporting” the lawyers.

Richard Kaufman, Avram Kelman and Philip Daniel Turner have all been accused by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) of using the firm’s client account as a “banking facility”.

In prosecution notices on its website, the SRA said the tribunal had “certified that there is a case to answer” in respect of identical allegations against all three men.

They are accused of having “used, or permitted the use of the client account of Fladgate LLP solicitors inappropriately by utilising it as a banking facility for clients”.

The SRA said that in a period “prior to 6 October 2011, in four separate matters” each solicitor had “allowed funds to be paid into, and out of, client account when it was unnecessary and inappropriate as there was no underlying legal transaction in which they were conducting reserved legal work to which such payments were linked”.

The SRA added that the allegations were “subject to a hearing” before the SDT and “as yet unproven”.

A spokeswoman for Fladgate said: “This relates to discrete allegations relating to matters on which the firm acted some years ago. The firm is fully supporting the individual partners concerned.

“The allegations have yet to be heard by the disciplinary tribunal and so it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

Mr Kelman is described on the firm’s website as a “multinational corporate lawyer”, qualified to practice in Israel, New York, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia. Mr Kaufman and Mr Turner are both commercial property specialists. Mr Turner is also the partner responsible for graduate recruitment and training.

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