A law firm owner has been fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority after repeatedly failing to pay fees owed to a barrister.

Ahmed Mohammed Hersi, sole principal of north west London firm Hersi & Co, did not pay an invoice of £29,000 issued to him for counsel fees back in 2017, an SRA decision notice states. He then failed to abide by a county court order made in 2018 to pay these fees, which with interest had increased to £40,000.

It was not clear from the decision notice whether Hersi had now paid the invoice, although he is no longer practising as a solicitor. There was also no indication whether Hersi had admitted misconduct, and no reference to any mitigation that might have been offered.

The regulator said that, by failing to pay these fees, Hersi had breached SRA principles to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public placed in him and in the provision of legal services.

An SRA adjudicator ruled that Hersi should pay a £2,000 fine, which is the highest financial sanction open to the regulator without taking the case to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, as well as costs of £600.