A former law firm associate who doctored entries into the case management system has been barred from working in the legal profession.
Lianne McDonald, a non-solicitor associate with Plymouth firm Russell Worth Limited, logged more than 90 false entries onto the system over more than two years.
McDonald’s duties had included making calls to assist file handlers in the personal injury department, the duration of which she had to record. After she was reported to the firm by a colleague, an investigation uncovered nine instances of phone calls being logged that had not taken place.
At a disciplinary interview, McDonald, who had been with the firm for nine years, admitted fabricating the entries on the case management system and was dismissed for gross misconduct. A detailed investigation subsequently found she had made a total of 93 false entries.
A regulatory settlement agreement published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority said the false entries recorded calls that had not been made. It was stated McDonald made the entries between June 2016 and August 2018 ‘to increase her time recording to meet targets set by the firm’.
McDonald admitted that her conduct had been dishonest. The regulator described a ‘pattern’ of dishonest behaviour which was repeated over two years.
She will be prevented from working for any authorised firm, without having secured SRA permission. She must also pay £300 costs.
Russell Worth Limited has been approached for comment.