The former secretary of a Cardiff firm has been sanctioned after using her own money to hide errors from clients and insurers. According to a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice, Elizabeth Beach covered discrepancies on two occasions while she worked as both secretary and conveyancing fee-earner with Malekin Law Limited.
The SRA said Beach, a non-solicitor, mistakenly paid all the money from a new mortgage to her client without discharging a liability. The error came to light when Beach, aiming to protect the firm’s indemnity insurance premium, redeemed the charge from her own pocket. The client agreed to reimburse her, but after he made just one monthly payment, Beach provided personal contact details to a third party so they could recover the money.
In the second occasion, Beach paid the proceeds of a sale to the client without settling a sum due to a housing association. Again she made up the difference with her own money.
Beach, who was with the firm from January 2008 to March 2016, agreed an SRA order not to work again in the legal profession without permission. She accepted matters were not handled correctly, and said she believed she made the payments with the best of intentions but failed to realise the consequences.