- In Practice
- In Business
- Moving On
Mellor & Jackson Solicitors and Thomas Edmund Michael McManus
Thursday 28 June 2012
- Application 10772-2011
- Hearing 16 January 2012
- Reasons 24 January 2012
The SDT ordered that as from 16 January 2012 except in accordance with Law Society permission (i) no solicitor should employ or remunerate, in connection with his practice as a solicitor, the second respondent; (ii) no employee of a solicitor should employ or remunerate, in connection with the solicitor’s practice the said respondent; (iii) no recognised body should employ or remunerate the said respondent; (iv) no manager or employee of a recognised body should employ or remunerate the said respondent in connection with the business of that body; (v) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body should permit the said respondent to be a manager of the body; and (vi) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body should permit the said respondent to have an interest in the body.
In breach of rule 3.01 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, the first respondent had acted in a transaction where there was a conflict of interest or a significant risk of a conflict between the interests of two or more clients; in breach of rule 1.04 of the code, the first respondent had failed to act in the best interests of its client; in breach of rule 22 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998, the first respondent withdrew money from client account other than as permitted; in breach of rule 32 of the rules, the first respondent had failed to keep properly drawn-up accounting records; and in breach of rule 7 of the rules, the first respondent had failed to remedy the breaches promptly.
In breach of rule 3.01 of the code, the second respondent had acted in a transaction where there was a conflict of interest or a significant risk of a conflict between the interests of two or more clients; and in breach of rule 1.04 of the code, the second respondent had failed to act in the best interests of his client.
The SDT acknowledged that the first respondent had made admissions and that two of the partners had attended the substantive hearing which was suggestive of the seriousness with which they had taken the proceedings.
The SDT had a duty to protect members of the public and to maintain confidence in the profession. In the circumstances, in balancing those duties it had decided that it was reasonable and proportionate to impose a fine on the first respondent.
The SDT considered that the second respondent had to have been aware of the significant risk of conflict in the present case and subsequently that by having continued to act for seller, purchaser and lender, he had not acted in the client’s best interests.
The SDT had also taken into account that the second respondent had previously appeared before it on no fewer than three previous occasions.
In the circumstances, the SDT had decided that it was reasonable and proportionate to make a section 43 order against the second respondent. He could still apply to work in a solicitor’s firm in the future subject to the approval of the applicant.
The first respondent was ordered to pay costs of £8,000. The second respondent was ordered to pay costs of £2,500.
- John Roberts, Geoffrey John Cogan, John David Martyn Loney, Peter Michael Higgins and Philip Bradley Roberts
- Boon Low
- Marlan Higgins
- Denise Alexia Baker
- Neale Simmons
- Clive Miller Hindle, Nicola Jane Carroll, Eileen Crawford Wilson, Gary Ackinclose
- Ian Allison Victor Pratchett, Matthew Apau Obeng and Arindum Das
- Milan Patel
- Wing Hing Howard Chan
- Anthony David Simpson
- Andrew Kennedy Horsey
- Salina Seeparsand
- Dennis Akhole Ebhogiaye
- Antoinette Olivia Taylor
- Peter Robert Tanner and John William Edward Leach
- Nobila Akhtar
- Fuglers LLP (in association with David Berens & Co), David Anthony Berens, Bryan Myer Fugler and Mark Silas Jacob
- Susan Ebhogiaye and Sandra Williams
- Alan David Tickell and a second respondent
- Jonathan Jacobs
- Colin Sleeman and Barbara Walton
- David James Sykes
- Nosa Kings Erhunmwunsee
- Louise Munn
- Anthony David Preston
- Ajith Zacharia
- John James Hobart Burden
- Lawson Akhigbe and Akhigbe and Akhigbe Solicitors
- Robert Richard Herbert Ware
- Alan Berry and Thomas Anthony McGrail
- Andrew Stuart McFadzean
- Kiran Nahar and Farhat Malik-Masud
- Adeyinka Abimbola Adeniran
- Amrik Kaur Bains
- Norbert Ekene Ohanugo
- Nicholas Heywood
- David Davies
- Bhaskar Subramaniam