A former solicitor has had bankruptcy restrictions extended for nine years after his conduct was deemed so serious that a curb on his activities should remain. 

John Richard Killington, from Brighton, was struck off in 2017 after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard he abused his position of trust while at a law firm in Watford by using client funds to make unsecured loans of more than £370,000 to other clients. Killington was also ordered to pay the SRA £150,000 to cover the costs of the investigation and prosecution.

The regulator petitioned for his bankruptcy when he was unable to pay. A bankruptcy order was granted last August by the county court at Brighton.

Bankruptcy restrictions are usually lifted after a year, but the Official Receiver pursued extended restrictions owing to the seriousness of Killington’s abuse of trust. 

Killington, 63, has signed a bankruptcy restrictions undertaking. The nine-year extension has been agreed with the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. Effective immediately, Killington cannot borrow more than £500 without disclosing his bankrupt status and cannot act as a company director without the court’s permission. 

Liesl Cook, official receiver, said: ‘John Killington abused the trust placed in him by a client who had every right to expect he would faithfully carry out his duties as their solicitor. He has now paid a heavy price for his misconduct as, in addition to John Killington not being able practise law, severe bankruptcy restrictions have been placed on him thanks to the collaboration between the SRA and the Insolvency Service.’