Former-Lawyer Locked Up For Failing to Manage Client Expectations

Former-Lawyer Locked Up For Failing to Manage Client Expectations

In late March 2023, the King’s Bench Division of the High Court handed down its ruling in the case of a legal professional removing him from the Roll of Solicitors. The matter was taken so seriously by the High Court because evidence suggested that the legal professional had taken instructions from clients with frivolous and vexatious causative actions. Documentary evidence demonstrated that the lawyer had encouraged clients to embark on a crusade of a dreadful nature in connection with accusations of dishonest dealings lacking foundation. The criminal court wanted to make an example of the now former legal professional at the heart of the proceedings and in this regard, it imposed a custodial prison sentence of twelve months imprisonment.          

What Happened in the Case?

The career of the lawyer at the heart of the matter appears to have been progressing incredibly well until this debacle put a spanner in the works for him. He appears according to the regulatory records to have attained his permission to operate as a solicitor from the legal industry regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority by a practicing certificate. To understand the context of the case it is important to make clear its historical context and in this regard, the matter dates back approximately one decade to the year 2013. Back then the legal professional found himself in the unfortunate position of being removed from the prestigious Roll of Solicitors by the regulatory authorities. 

Under normal circumstances, a person finding themselves in this situation would usually ride out the waves, keep their head down, learn their lessons, and rehabilitate themselves to give themselves the best chance of successfully getting the practicing certificate back. However, it does not seem to have crossed the mind of the legal professional at the heart of this case to adhere to the above guidelines. Instead, and the polar opposite to the above, evidence reared its ugly head appearing to demonstrate that the legal professional had violated an order which had the effect of stopping him from presenting causes of action on behalf of clients or helping other parties to submit causes of action. The legal professional was accused in the case of having the belief that the courts are overall deceitful and untrustworthy. Despite failing to make admissions to the allegations the High Court seems to have poured cold water over the legal professional’s attempt to wriggle off the proverbial hook by ruling that his actions had violated the order as the events took place within the relevant timeframe the ruling was in position. 
Now it was not as though this was an isolated incident as evidence gathered appeared to suggest that they had been contravening decisions imposed by the court authorities for a considerable period dating back to 2016.    

Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out…

The High Court observed that the lawyer had failed to manage the expectations and exaggerated the probability they would be successful at trial to campaign on behalf of such persons. He was given away by his unusual style of drafting documents.    

Lessons Learned? 

Legal professionals need to be absorbing the message from this judgment by:
-    avoiding like the plague opening files for clients knowing the strength of the case is frivolous
-    not taking instructions on vexatious cases
-    acting with honesty and integrity at all times
-    manage the expectation of clients and
-    not pursuing a frivolous or vexatious campaign. 
This will mitigate the risk of other legal professionals finding themselves in this predicament. 
If you have experienced something similar, or have an opposing viewpoint, please kindly leave a comment on the article or contact us.  

ASSESSING FIRMS

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