A law firm director motivated by greed to carry out fraudulent conveyancing deals has been struck off the register of foreign lawyers.
Kamran Adil, born in 1984, had been granted foreign lawyer status in England and Wales only in January 2012, but within 11 months his firm was intervened into and his status was suspended.
When SRA investigators went to look round the firm, London-based Tavistock Law Limited, they found the name plaque removed and were denied access to the premises.
But a case against Adil was already being established, with reports from other solicitors and opposing parties about apparent irregularities in numerous conveyancing transactions in which his firm was involved.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard Adil would move a decimal point so as to pay 10% of the amount actually due to redeem mortgages.
In conveyancing transactions, the firm received monies intended for a specific purpose but which were transferred out of the client account to apparently unrelated third parties.
The tribunal heard the firm was a ‘vehicle for widespread mortgage fraud’, the cost of which ultimately fell on the profession as a whole through the compensation fund.
Several repayments came to six-figure sums, with the highest compensation payment being more than £1m.
The tribunal found Adil had played a ‘key role in the exemplified transactions and they were clearly fraudulent’. His conduct was found to be ‘deliberate, calculated and repeated’.
‘The operation of moving the decimal point so as to pay 10% of the amount actually due to redeem the mortgages was evidence of pre-meditation; the tribunal did not accept that this happened mistakenly.’
Adil did not appear before the one-day hearing last month, despite the SRA attempting to write to him at an address in Pakistan, contacting the Punjab Bar Council and even placing an advertisement in a Rawalpindi newspaper.
He was struck off the register of foreign lawyers and ordered to pay £34,000 costs.
A second director of the firm, Paul Iwezulu, born in 1939 and admitted in 2008, was found by the tribunal to have failed to ensure staff were adequately supervised and to ensure compliance with accounts rules.
But the tribunal heard that Iwezulu, who had been in practice for more than 40 years, seven of which were in the UK, was as much the victim as were the parties subject to fraudulent transactions.
He had been recruited under false circumstances and had little opportunity to prevent what was happening.
He was reprimanded and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.