SDT: Robin Alastair Jackson and John Barry Salmon
- Application 10784-2011
- Hearing 20 February 2012
- Reasons 26 March 2012
The SDT ordered that the first respondent (admitted 1972) should be struck off the roll; and that the second respondent (admitted 1994) should pay a fine of £500.
The first respondent had, dishonestly and in breach of rules 1.02 and 1.04 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, made a claim for costs which he could not justify; in breach of rule 15(4) of the Solicitors Account Rules 1998, the first respondent had failed to inform the client in writing at least once every 12 months of the amount of any client money retained at the end of the matter (or the substantial conclusion of the matter) and of the reason for that retention; and, in breach of rule 3.04 of the code, the first respondent had accepted a significant gift from a client and had ceased to act for the client as required.
The first and second respondents had, in breach of rule 2.03 of the code, given costs information to clients which was inaccurate and misleading by accepting discounts on search fees which they had not then passed on to clients. The SDT had found that the first respondent had been dishonest. That was the most serious of allegations and, in view of that, the only appropriate sanction was to order that he be struck off the roll. It was correct to state that the second respondent had played a more minor part in the present unfortunate matter. However, it was clear that the firm had been receiving rebates that should have been passed on to their clients.
In all the circumstances, the SDT considered that the appropriate penalty was to order that the second respondent should pay a fine of £500.
The first respondent was ordered to pay costs of £16,200, such order not to be enforced without leave of the SDT. The second respondent was ordered to pay costs of £1,800, such order not to be enforced without leave of the SDT.