Lawyer Banned Over Death Threats

| Career Insights, General


In mid-February 2023 legal industry regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority through the medium of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal handed down its order to a person who had been appointed to the position of Solicitor in connection with allegations that he had issued death threats to clients and other fellow legal professionals. He apparently and somewhat inexplicably informed one legal professional that he was one stage nearer to his death. 

What Happened In The Case?

The legal professional at the heart of the proceedings appears on the facts of the case to have been progressing steadily and with an enormous degree of success. He had been enrolled onto the Roll of Solicitors by virtue of a practising certificate in approximately 2008. However, the tide finally turned when the legal professional was approached for advice from a female client of advancing years whose husband sadly had recently passed away and who was in a precautious position. The services of the legal professional had been sought as the client wanted to be guided through the legal process during her request for letters of administration. 

The case progressed further and the client appears to have become involved in a disagreement which resulted in litigious action against her daughter which centred around the soundness, effectiveness and viability of two will documents pertaining to the deceased’s estate. The barrister representing the daughter complained to the industry regulator that he had apparently received correspondence from his counterpart which could only be described as dubious, ungentlemanly in nature and decidedly unbefitting of a legal professional in such a privileged position. 

One comment which had been received by the barrister who represented the daughter claimed that he put his opposite number very much in the mind of a playground persecutor and as a result threatened him with force of a physical nature. Another example of correspondence received by the barrister was the sending of a death threat directly against his personal safety. A senior partner of a legal services provider also sent correspondence via email to the barrister the content of which was also tantamount to death threats to him. 

What Did The Solicitors Regulation Authority Say?

The Solicitors Regulation Authority carefully reviewed the evidence submitted to it and were damning of the conduct of the legal professionals conduct. It described their behaviour in sending such messages to fellow professionals as inappropriate. 

Lessons Learned? 

Legal professionals reading the facts surrounding this case need to be carefully considering the facts, circumstances and take on board the following lesson by: 

  • ensure they closely collaborate with the Solicitors Regulation Authority if they decide to launch a probe into the conduct of legal professionals

  • not intentionally concealing information

  • making sure they are not to hoodwinking the regulator on significant issues

  • acting in a professional manner at all times 

  • conducting themselves in reasonably robust fashion

  • moderating their language when speaking to defendants or respondents and

  • having at the forefront of their minds that the SRA places high demands on correspondence sent from legal professionals to their fellow professionals

  • remembering this will be of a significantly higher standard with correspondence sent to clients who emanate from the general public or commercial world   

  • carefully reading their draft emails, letter and other documents to assess whether they could potentially be interpreted as being intimidating, hostile or inappropriate and 

  • cautiously approach the sending of correspondence to avoid the possible allegations that such comments being interpreted as the making of death threats. 

This will mitigate the risk of a repeat performance of such events taking place in the future. 


#BlakeMorgan #LClyde&CoLLP #CapsticksLLP #Hempsons #KingsleyNapleyLLP #RadcliffesLeBrasseur #BatesWells #CMS #DACBeachcroftLLP #FieldFisher #HerbertSmithFreehills #Russell-CookeLLP #BlackfordsLLP #CharlesRussellSpeechlysLLP #KeoughLLP #MurdochsSolicitors #StepehensonsSolicItorsLLP


[SOURCE 1] Moloney, Charlie – The plagues will fall on you’: Solicitor who sent ‘inappropriate’ emails struck off’ - 16th February 2023 - 'The plagues will fall on you': Solicitor who sent 'inappropriate' emails struck off | News | Law Gazette

[SOURCE 3] Principles 2  to 10 of SRA Principle 2011

[SOURCE 4] SRA Outcomes – Solicitors Code of Conduct



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