High profile London practice Mishcon de Reya and its former head of sport are to face the disciplinary tribunal over allegations relating to the firm’s client account.
In a statement published today, the Solicitors Regulation Authority said that Mishcon de Reya and solicitor Elizabeth Ellen have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
The regulator alleges that Ellen, who now runs a sports consultancy, caused or allowed payments to be made into and from the firm’s client account in circumstances amounting to the provision of a banking facility, while working as a solicitor at Mishcon de Reya. The allegations are subject to a hearing and are yet unproven.
Meanwhile, the firm is accused of failing to take any or adequate steps to prevent payments to be made into and from the firm’s client account in circumstances amounting to the provision of a banking facility. These allegations are also unproven.
A spokesperson for Mishcon de Reya said: ‘We note that a referral has been made to the SDT following an investigation into a historical matter which we self-reported to the SRA. We will continue to cooperate fully with all regulatory authorities. The tribunal relates to admitted technical breaches made in 2011 by a former colleague.’
Ellen’s solicitor Anthony Barnfather, senior partner at Barnfather Solicitors, said: ‘This matter refers to historical issues occurring more than a decade ago when our client was a junior lawyer working under the supervision of various partners at MDR. The firm self-reported, what it has termed, technical breaches of accounts rules in 2011. The case will be considered by an independent tribunal and as such we cannot comment further. However, we can confirm that our client will defend those aspects of the proceedings that concern any alleged breaches involving her.’
According to her Twitter account, Ellen has worked on a number of high profile sports cases, including on the transfer of Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City FC to Borussia Dortmund. She was ranked 13th in the Independent’s List of 50 Most Influential Women In Sport in 2015, and ha beens described as ‘probably the best sports lawyer in the country’ by the Legal 500 directory.
Earlier this year, Mishcon de Reya announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. The firm has mandated investment bank J.P. Morgan Cazenove to advise on the IPO, which could take place in the fourth quarter of 2021.