A trainee solicitor who applied to join the roll with a falsified certificate that he had passed the legal practice course (LPC) has been banned from the profession.
Kulvinder Kooner, who worked at Surrey law firm Preuveneers, cannot work in future for a law firm without the permission of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
According to a regulatory settlement agreement published today, in May 2019 Mr Kooner applied to be admitted to the roll of solicitors and for a practising certificate.
The SRA asked him for a copy of the certificate showing he had completed and passed the LPC, which he sent. He had been studying the LPC while working at the firm.
The SRA then asked for a “clearer copy” of the certificate, but he did not reply and instead soon after withdrew the application, stating that he no longer wanted to pursue a career as a solicitor.
The same day, Preuveneers contacted the SRA to report that Mr Kooner had admitted falsifying the certificate.
Mr Kooner admitted that his dishonest conduct made it “undesirable” for him to be involved in a legal practice.
In mitigation, the SRA noted that he apologised and expressed remorse for his conduct, and cooperated with its investigation.
The banning order was appropriate because “his conduct demonstrates that, were Mr Kooner to be involved in a legal practice again, he could not be trusted to act honestly in the delivery of legal services”.
In a statement, Preuveneers said: “Mr Kooner joined the firm as a paralegal, confirmed to us that he passed the LPC and provided us with the transcript [mark sheet]. He applied to become a trainee solicitor, which was approved by the Law Society.
“As soon as we become aware of the situation, Mr Kooner’s employment was immediately terminated and we contacted the SRA on the same day. We have fully cooperated with the Law Society in its investigation.”