A fee earner who faked a backdated document on the same day that his inaction was questioned has been barred from the profession.

Paul Ross, a non-solicitor employee of Cambridge firm Hewitsons, was contacted in January by a party on the other side in a property matter saying they had not heard from him since the previous August.

Ross then generated a letter on the same date which he backdated to September 2019, and forwarded this to both his client and the other party, saying it had been sent months previously. An SRA decision notice stated that Ross’ client had raised queries to be put to the other side in September 2019 but no significant progress had been made.

After Ross was furloughed in April 2020, a review of his files was conducted and the backdated letter was discovered. Following an internal investigation Ross was dismissed and his conduct referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Ross, employed in the firm’s residential property business for more than 10 years, accepted that he misled a third party by backdating a letter and wrongly claiming it had been sent on an earlier date.

He also accepted that he misled two clients in October 2019 when he emailed to confirm that Land Registry applications had been progressed when they had not. He accepted his conduct was dishonest and it was now undesirable for him to be involved in legal practice.

The SRA made Ross subject to a section 43 order preventing him from working for any law firm. He must also pay £300 costs.