A trainee solicitor who misled clients about the progress of their cases has been told he should leave the profession.
Jack Patrick Walker, who worked for now-defunct alternative business structure Parabis Law LLP (trading as Cogent Law) in Croydon, was also fined £1,000 following the Solicitors Regulation Authority investigation.
Walker was dismissed in May 2013 after nine months with the firm after analysis of 10 files flagged up misconduct.
An SRA regulatory settlement agreement, published today, confirmed that Walker had misled clients and the firm that claims were being progressed when he knew they had been struck out.
He also failed to inform his clients about offers to settle and failed to attend court hearings on his clients’ behalf, leading to claims being struck out.
Walker failed to comply with court orders and directions, failed to file relevant court documents within stipulated timeframes and misled the court about an application for reinstatement of a claim.
He did not tell the firm or his team leader about the failures and deleted incoming documents from the case management system.
Walker admitted to multiple breaches of SRA principles and outcomes, but said in mitigation he felt he did not possess the necessary skills to carry out the work required of him and, due to staff changes, he was unable to seek assistance.
He also offered his apologies for the failings and accepted his conduct fell below expected standards.
The SRA said his conduct was ‘deliberate and reckless’ and that the agreed outcome was in the public interest.
It was considered that Walker’s conduct, particularly his dishonesty, made it undesirable for him to be involved in a legal practice without first seeking permission from the SRA.
Walker will also pay £600 SRA costs.