A Yorkshire solicitor has agreed his removal from the roll after admitting to mistakenly transferring £47,000 of client money to the office account.
Edward Bromet, 51, insisted his actions were not intended to be dishonest, but he admitted misconduct on the eve of a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing and instead agreed with the Solicitors Regulation Authority he should be struck off.
The money, split over two groups of transfers, was disbursed between employees of his firm Bromets Solicitors Limited, unsecured creditors and to Bromet himself. Bromet, admitted in 1996, explained that the first payments were made on the basis they were loans from a trust, of which he was co-trustee. In mitigation, not agreed by the SRA, Bromet said he understood that his actions were within the wide-ranging powers of investment he had as a trustee, with nothing lost by the client.
Monies were promptly replaced and the matter was self-reported to the SRA.
Following a visit from investigators, Bromet emailed the fellow trustee to say it had been noticed that trust cash was being held in another bank account. He explained this was a positive move for the trust as it would generate income, but he did not say that it would also benefit Bromet himself.
He admitted and accepted that explanations given to the co-trustee were incomplete and misleading.
As to the second tranche of bank transfers, Bromet said this had been a mistake, made when he was away from the office and using a banking app on his phone to arrange payments with a limited and intermittent mobile signal.
He believed these monies were due to the firm in fees received and did not at the time appreciate he was transferring from a separate client deposit account. Upon realising the mistake, the monies were replaced the following week and the matter self-reported.
The tribunal also heard that an arrangement with a company allowed it to use a template with the firm’s letterhead in certain compensation claims, with the firm receiving £10 for each letter if compensation was awarded. Bromet did not check the content of these letters and accepted it had the potential to diminish trust in the profession.
Bromet undertook not to apply to be restored to the roll. He was struck off and ordered to pay £28,000 costs.