Martin Florian Broomhead
- Application 10747-2011
- Admitted 1988
- Hearings 7, 23 February and 30 March 2012
- Reasons 12 June 2012
The SDT ordered that the respondent be reprimanded.
Contrary to rule 1.06 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, the respondent had failed and/or delayed in complying with the expectation(s) and direction(s) of adjudicators dated 6 January 2009, and/or 21 August 2009, and/or 22 March 2010, and/or the Panel of Adjudicators Sub-Committee dated 19 May 2010; and, contrary to rule 20.05 of the code, he had failed to deal with the Legal Complaints Service and/or the Solicitors Regulation Authority in an open, prompt and co-operative way in relation to the matter of Mrs B, being the subject of the first allegation.
The breaches in the present case were relatively serious but nowhere near the top end of the scale of misconduct that commonly came before the SDT. However, the SDT was disappointed to note that the respondent had previously appeared before it in 1994 when he had been fined £3,000. It appeared from the SDT’s records that the fine had never been paid.
The SDT had concluded that, in all the circumstances, the respondent was not a danger to the public or to the public’s confidence in the reputation of the profession. The appropriate sanction was a reprimand. The SDT had some sympathy with the respondent’s view that, in going the extra mile for Mrs B, he had created problems for himself. It did appear that he had tried to do his very best for Mrs B.
In doing so he had, perhaps unwittingly, caused her to entertain unrealistic expectations, which were, perhaps unfortunately, reinforced by counsel’s advice on the merits. It had become extremely difficult for the respondent to manage those unrealistic expectations within the resources available to him, regardless of the undoubtedly public-spirited nature of the service that he was able to provide at Bury Metro Racial Equality Council, where he was employed as diversity officer - racial discrimination.
The organisation was constrained by the pressure not to turn work away and a compulsion to continue to fight on for clients who could not afford to pay for legal representation.
In the circumstances, and in particular in the hope that the respondent would soon find employment which would enable him to get his career, indeed his life, back on track, the SDT had concluded that a reprimand was the appropriate and proportionate sanction.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs to be assessed if not agreed.
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