An immigration solicitor who faked a string of correspondence and documents to cover for his lack of activity has been struck off the roll by the tribunal.
Christopher Ka Ki Cheng, who worked with London firm Farani Javid Taylor Solicitors, was found to have misled immigration clients who were vulnerable and whose prospects of staying in the UK were dependent on him.
Cheng had worked at the firm since 2010 and specialised in immigration matters, ultimately becoming head of the China desk until he left in 2017.
At a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in April, Cheng was found to have falsified and/or confected six documents leading a client to believe an application had been made for him to remain in the UK. In November 2016, a Home Office official attended the client’s workplace claiming that his leave to remain had expired and he had no right to work.
In one example, the initials of a Government Legal Department lawyer appeared on a consent order that she had not signed or even seen before it was brought to her attention.
Cheng also dishonestly falsified and/or confected emails, a certificate of service, an application notice and a hearing notice.
The tribunal also heard that in around 17 client matters over two years, Cheng failed to open a client file or make progress on a client’s immigration application, despite telling them he would do so.
Harm to the clients was found to be ‘entirely foreseeable’ and his motivation was to ‘cover his tracks’ for failing to progress client matters.
Cheng did not submit an answer to the allegations against him but sent a statement saying he had no defence and that he was remorseful and regretful. He was struck off and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.