SDT: Anthony Fuller
- Application 10519-2010
- Admitted 1988
- Hearing 12 December 2011
- Reasons 26 January 2012
The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.
The respondent had conducted himself in a manner that was likely to compromise his integrity, contrary to rule 1(a) of the Solicitors Practice Rules 1990 and/or, where such conduct related to a period after 1 July 2007, rule 1.03 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007; he had conducted himself in a manner which was likely to compromise or impair the good repute of the solicitors’ profession, contrary to rule 1(d) of the 1990 rules and/or, where such conduct related to a period after 1 July 2007, rule 1.06 of the 2007 rules; he had falsely claimed to have conducted work on client matter files when he had not done so and had thereafter claimed payment in respect of such work to which he was not entitled; and he had acted dishonestly.
The SDT had found that the respondent acted dishonestly and as a result of his conduct, his fellow partners had suffered losses, although the SDT noted those had subsequently been repaid by the respondent. Nevertheless, they were serious matters and went to the very core of a solicitor’s position of trust.
The SDT was mindful of the case of Bolton v Law Society  CA, and had also taken into account the case of Solicitors Regulation Authority v Sharma  EWHC 2022 (Admin) in which the judge had confirmed that where a solicitor was found to have acted dishonestly, only an exceptional case would justify a sentence of anything other than striking off the roll. In the present case, the SDT had not found that there were any exceptional circumstances and accordingly ordered that the respondent be struck off the roll.
The SDT ordered that costs be assessed if not agreed, and further that the respondent make an interim payment of £15,000 towards costs, within 28 days.