Legal Professional Rebuked Over Second Job

| General



Everyone who achieves a job can progress their career, reduce their need to enter a situation whereby they are in poverty, and mitigate the risk of having to claim welfare benefits. However, in early December 2022 news emerged of a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal decision which raised eyebrows amongst those persons aspiring to achieve a career in the legal profession and who has been in the profession for a long time. This was because a legal professional who had been recruited for an executive assistant position had seemingly failed, as required under the terms and conditions of employment with her first employer, to communicate with her current employer that she had accepted the role. Secondly and arguably worse was the fact that she had not felt it necessary to inform them that she had successfully applied for the job with a current client of her present employer. Inexplicably the legal professional then seemingly chose not to comply with the required business processes whilst acting for a client. If this had happened once this would have been bad enough. However, the legal professional has neglected to carry out her duties in this regard twice. Owing to her conduct the industry regulator, the Solicitors Regulation Authority handed down an order preventing her from practicing. 

 

Successful Career…

Before embarking upon this second questionable position, the legal professional had been employed by a provider of legal services for just under one decade and a half and had done extremely well having been initially employed in her first job as a real estate administration secretary and working her way up the organization and occupied the position of a licensed conveyancer. A position she occupied until her later resignation. 

Regrets I’ve Had A Few…

The legal representative faced with overwhelming evidence of misconduct openly accepted that she had negated to:

  • communicate with her employer over her second role in the violation of her contractual terms and conditions
     
  • verify the origin of a payment of monies that had been made into the account designated for client monies in breach of the provider of legal services practices

  • set up a file, comply with the provider of legal services processes and fill out the respective paperwork related to the conveyance of a piece of real estate

  • take the instructions of a client regarding the removal of a property proprietor

  • falsely represented that a person was valued at a certain level without backing this up with documentary proof

What Did The Solicitors Regulation Authority Say…?

The Regulator was particularly damning of the behavior of the legal representative in this case. The Solicitors Regulation Authority was of the view that her conduct made her decidedly unfit to be concerned with the provision of legal services. If she was to desire to work in the profession in the future then she would be required to approach the regulator for its permission to do so.    

Lessons Learned? 

The legal professional need to be paying close order to this case and need to be:

  • acting cautiously if they are approached with the offer of a second job

  • communicating with their respective employers if such an offer is received

  • acting with honesty and integrity at all times and

  • following the correct procedures about matters such as opening files, ensuring the correct documents are completed and communication is flowing and 

  • ensuring they are verifying the source of funds.      

Following this strategy will reduce the risk of future legal professionals experiencing the same fate in the future. 

ASSESSING FIRMS

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

THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES 

[SOURCE 1] Rose, Neil – Ban for a conveyancer who took the second job with the client on the quiet – Legal Futures – 2 December 2022 - Ban for conveyancer who took second job with client on the quiet - Legal Futures

[SOURCE 2] Solicitors Regulation Authority – Brenda Devereaux - SRA | Devereaux, Brenda - 824082 | Solicitors Regulation Authority

 

[SOURCE 3] Section 43 Solicitors Act 1974 

[SOURCE 4] Section 99 Solicitors Act 1974

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