Conditions have been imposed on the practising certificates of a further four solicitors at a high-profile firm shut down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority last year.
Two weeks after the Legal Aid Agency referred concerns about London-headquartered firm Blavo & Co to the Metropolitan Police last year, the regulator said it had intervened into the firm and the practice of sole director John Blavo.
Blavo does not hold a current practising certificate and therefore cannot practise as a solicitor in England and Wales.
This week the SRA published decisions stating that conditions have been imposed on the practising certificates of Gillian Koshi Blavo, Mark David Fidler, Lee-Ann Jennine Frampton-Anderson and Balbir Bains.
The decisions state that their conditions are ‘necessary, reasonable and proportionate in the public interest’. The SRA stressed that this does not amount to a disciplinary action.
The decision for Gillian Koshi Blavo states that she may not take on the role of manager or owner of an authorised body without the regulator’s advance approval.
If she wishes to become a manager or owner of an authorised body, she is required to make an application to the regulator for approval.
Fidler’s decision states that if he wishes to become a manager or owner of an authorised body, he is required to make an application to the regulator for advance approval.
Frampton-Anderson’s decision states that she must apply to the regulator for advance approval if she wishes to become a manager or owner of an authorised body.
Bains' decision states that she may not take on the role of manager or owner of an authorised body without the regulator's advance approval. If she wishes to become a manager or owner of an authorised body, she is required to make an application to the SRA for approval.
The regulator has confirmed that other partners of Blavo & Co who have conditions on their practising certificates are David John Hodge, Joanne Day, Barbara Simula, Leslie Kisseih, Michelle Mwangi, Kezia Daley, and Maureen Uzoamaka Chigboh-Anyadi.
According to Companies House, they - as well as Gillian Koshi Blavo, Fidler, Frampton-Anderson and Bains - resigned as directors of Blavo & Co Solicitors Limited last year.
Solicitors are entitled to appeal against any conditions placed on their practising certificate.
A spokesperson for the SRA said: ‘We place conditions on the practising certificates of solicitors to control the way they deliver legal services. This is not a disciplinary action, and does not represent punishment for a proven breach of the code of conduct.
‘Conditions are imposed because we believe that, without them, there would be a risk to the public interest. Each individual situation is assessed on its merits, there are no specific circumstances that would trigger the imposition of conditions.
‘Our only concern is to protect the public interest.’
In January the High Court continued a freezing order against John Blavo. A freezing order was first made against him on 26 November.
The Metropolitan Police told the Gazette that an investigation into Blavo & Co continues.