Lawyer Sanctioned For Riding Shotgun

| Career Insights, General

On Valentines Day 2023 news was released into the public domain of a financial sanction which had been imposed by the industry regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority to a legal professional in his capacity as a solicitor in connection with allegations of leaving a firearm and a bag filled with ammunition on the rear seating area of his car. The allegations were treated so seriously by the Solicitors Regulation Authority because it wanted to make an example of the legal professional and set the example for the rest of the legal professionals by handing down a financial sanction in the amount of two thousand pounds.  

What Happened In The Case?

The solicitor involved in the case on the facts of the case appears to have been identified as the driver of a vehicle which appears to have been proceeding in the vehicle in an unpredictable, manner. Due to how the legal professional was proceeding to drive his vehicle some independent witnesses seemed to have been concerned and as a consequence notified the police traffic authorities. The legal professional on the serious facts of the case and as part of the police investigation compelled him to visit the police station where he volunteered a couple of specimens of breath. The legal industry regulator was particularly damning of the positive results shown on the police breath specimens as it demonstrated that he was in charge of the vehicle whilst under the influence of excessive amounts of alcohol in his bloodstream in contravention of the legal obligations. The authorities are responsible for enforcing the criminal law in the jurisdiction of England and Wales under the circumstances made in the decision to search the vehicle belonging to the legal professional which had been abandoned in the vicinity of large premises dedicated to the provision of retail services. On searching the vehicle the authorities discovered a storage case holding a gun accompanied by ammunition.      

What Did The Magistrates Court Say?

When the Magistrates Court located in the area of Truro in the County of Somerset put the evidence it had gathered to the legal professional he held his hands up and accepted full responsibility for being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of excessive amounts of alcohol. He also entered a plea of guilty to not adhering to the limitations imposed upon his firearm certification. To emphasize how seriously the magistrates take such conduct they imposed an order 

  • preventing him from being in charge of a motor vehicle for approximately one year and a half, 

  • sending him on a driver correction course

  • compelling him to forfeit ownership of his firearm and

  • imposing one thousand pounds in financial sanctions.         

Lessons Learned? 

Lawyers considering the facts of this case need to be following the below strategy: 

  • ensuring they have a firearms certificate in place if choosing to own a weapon of this kind

  • making a concerted to adhere to the limitations on the use of firearms imposed by such paperwork

  • considering it unwise to put a regulated firearm in the back of a vehicle

  • competently driving their vehicles in accordance with the Highway Code and

  • not consuming excessive quantities of alcohol which put them over the legal limit.

If such legal professionals decide to follow this course of action, it will go some way to reducing the possibility, risk, and chance of such a course of conduct from happening in the future. They will also be less likely to have a banning order imposed upon them by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.     


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


[SOURCE 1]Castro, Bianca – Solicitor who had a shotgun in the car fired – Law Society Gazette – 14th February 2023 

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

[SOURCE 4] SRA Outcomes – Solicitors Code of Conduct



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