A prominent City solicitor accused of dishonestly transferring money today accused a former colleague of blackmailing solicitors into reporting him to the regulator over a 'concocted story'.
Tony Norman Guise, ex-chair of the Commercial Litigation Association (CLAN) and a former member of the Law Society civil justice committee, is accused by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of making dishonest and unauthorised transfers between 2014 and 2015 amounting to almost £400,000.
At a disciplinary hearing this morning, Guise suggested that a former director of CLAN Commercial Services - referred to by the tribunal as Ms S Dun - blackmailed six solicitors on the executive committee of the Commercial Litigation Association to force them to send a letter of complaint to the SRA.
‘The purpose of gaining a letter of complaint from them was to give your concocted story some credibility using the status of the six solicitors, isn’t that right?’ Guise asked the former director in cross-examination. The allegation was strongly denied by Dun, who was called as a witness by the SRA.
Guise is accused of transferring £20,200 from CLAN Commercial Services – a separate entity to the Commercial Litigation Association – dishonestly and without authorisation. The SRA alleged this money was used for matters that were ‘clearly private and personal’ including a meal at London restaurant Coq d’Argent and a Netflix subscription.
He is also accused of transfering £353,000 out of his firm’s client account without authorisation.
Guise denies any wrongdoing. The hearing continues.