A fraudster solicitor who ripped off his own firm has had his removal from the profession confirmed. Gregory Craig Davies, who had been a solicitor for five years, was jailed in January after confessing to attempting to commit fraud by abuse of position and of dishonestly making false representations for his personal gain.
From September 2015 to July 2016, Davies had defrauded his firm, Liverpool practice Catherine Higgins Law, on 45 occasions by creating and using false records and documents. Almost £13,400 was taken.
Once the investigation into his actions started, Davies attempted to delete files by accessing the firm’s IT system remotely.
In sentencing remarks, Her Honour Judge Smith said Davies’ behaviour was ‘wholly at odds’ with the standards of the profession and had a clear impact on his former employer which went beyond purely financial. His conduct after the offences began to be uncovered was a serious aggravating feature of his criminality.
He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, with the conviction publicised in both the local and legal press. Following the case, Davies’ employer Catherine Higgins said in a victim statement she felt ‘numb and sick’ when his misconduct emerged, adding the feeling of betrayal was ‘indescribable’.
By the time of his hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month, Davies had already agreed with the SRA to be struck off, with the SDT rubber-stamping that sanction.
In mitigation advanced during the criminal proceedings, but which was not endorsed by the SRA, he claimed not to have been paid a bonus and referred to stress and difficult work conditions.
He must also pay £4,000 in SRA costs in addition to being struck off.