A solicitor has been struck off and ordered to pay more than £70,000 in costs after she allowed a struck-off solicitor to operate from her firm.
Rajeswary Ramasamy, sole principal of Thames Chambers Solicitors in London’s Whitechapel, acted with a lack of integrity and her judgment had been impaired, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ruled.
The tribunal heard that a solicitor referred as RSP was struck off in 2010 yet was subsequently paid for work he did at the firm. He was described as an ‘important client to the firm’ and was involved in a large number of cases.
Although not formally employed or on a salary, his activities met the established definition that ‘employment’ and ‘remuneration’ should be construed in the wider sense.
In a High Court case last year Ramasamy failed with a challenge to an intervention in her firm by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2015.
In its decision, the SDT said it was clear that RSP was at the firm ‘a great deal of time’ and had easy access to it. However, the tribunal ruled it was satisfied that RSP had not become involved in the management of the firm.
Ordering Ramasamy to be struck off, the tribunal said: ’The trust the public places in the profession was undermined by the remuneration of a struck-off solicitor… permitting or allowing that struck-off solicitor to undertake litigation undermined that trust.’
It added that ‘the potential for harm when running a firm to which a struck-off solicitor has easy access was extraordinary high.’