Strike Off For Lying Lawyer

| General


In mid-November 2022 the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal handed down an order which had the effect of striking off a legal professional from the prestigious Roll after it received evidence of his dishonesty, untruthful conduct and deceit.  

What’s Occurring?

All appeared fine however when the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal investigated and upheld a total of three complaints which were submitted against the legal professional. Evidence suggested that the provider had been unable to pay its obligations, was dissolved and lost its permission to conduct business under the SRA. The legal professional caught up in these proceedings was not authorised to act in his own personal right. All would have been fine from a legal perspective. However, problems emerged when the lawyer negated to communicate to his respective provider insurance services the true position. In fact, suggested that he had deliberately attempted to deceive his insurance company. 

Missed Payments

In the opening parts of 2020 some evidence indicated to the SRA that the legal services provider had lacked ability to comply with its financial obligations. When the regulator examined in more significant detail it found that just over ten loans had been taken out by the business with a combined figure of approximately a quarter of a million pounds over half-year time-frame. However, if the legal services provider thought these financial advances were going to have a positive impact upon their financial situations, put their business into the black and onto a solid footing, they would be mistaken as the financial strife has seemingly carried on unabated. Just prior to March 2020 the situation had become exceptionally serious to the extent that the legal services provider possessed approximately fifteen thousand pounds which had been paid into its business accounts. The picture from this perspective appeared fine, however it soon became apparent that this was not the real picture of the business. The firm appeared to be in a race against time to meet its obligations to pay staff salaries in the amount of just over thirty thousand pounds and some payments in relation to expenses. To underline the importance of the situation the business only had two days to meets its obligations or there would seemingly be consequences. 

Desperate Dishonesty

The lawyer at the centre of the allegation perceptively must have panicked at the seemingly tight timeframe and compiled a total of seven documentary invoices in relation to the estates of seven clients. On the surface this appeared to be innocuous and nothing to write home about. However, when the motivation and events were examined in closer detail it was discovered that the legal representative had not approached any of his clients and they had not provided any instructions whatsoever for the lawyer to take this action. When he was eventually confronted in respect of his behaviour he contested the allegation that the monies were to prop up the firm by diverting the monies to pay the staff salaries and office expenses. 

What Did The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Say?

The Tribunal found that the accusations were fully proven and his defence quickly collapsed. They found that his behaviour was untruthful and he was not oblivious the payments, knew full well that he was unauthorised to make such transfers and made the payments despite this knowledge. 

Pages Turned…Lessons Learned 

Legal professionals reading this case should be:

  • avoiding getting implicated in transactions where client monies are used to prop up the firm

  • complying with the Solicitors Code of Conduct, Account Rules and Principles;

  • acting with honesty and integrity at all times and

  • notifying issues to their respective insurance companies.       

ASSESSING FIRMS 

#BlakeMorganLLP #Clyde&CoLLP #CapsticksLLP #Hempsons #KingsleyNapleyLLP #RadcliffeLeBrrasseurLLP #BatesWells #BrownJacobson #CMS #DACBeachcroft #Fieldfisher #HerbertSmithFreehills #RussellCookeLLP #BlackfordsLLP #KeoghsLLP 

THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES 

[SOURCE 1] Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – Solicitors Regulation Authority Ltd v Richard Charles Boyd – Case Number 12338-2022 – 07 November 2022 – 12338-2022.Boyd_.pdf (solicitorstribunal.org.uk)

[SOURCE 2] Hyde, John – Lying solicitor struck off but deemed too poor to pay costs – Law Society Gazette – 21 November 2022 - Lying solicitor struck off but deemed too poor to pay any costs | News | Law Gazette

[SOURCE 3] Rule 4 SRA Accounts Rules 2019

[SOURCE 4] Rule 6 SRA Accounts Rules 2019

[SOURCE 5] Principle 2 of the SRA Principle 2019

[SOURCE 6] Principle 4 of the SRA Principle 2019

[SOURCE 7] Principle 4 of the SRA Principle 2019

[SOIURCE 8] Principle 5 of the SRA Principle 2019

[SOURCE 9] Principle 7 of the SRA Principle 2019

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