A City partner accused of misrepresenting her billing figures while moving firms has appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Tracey Ann Sheehan, now head of telecommunications at Hill Dickinson, allegedly provided Dentons with a financial performance schedule containing ‘untrue’ figures in 2015, when applying to join the partnership from Taylor Wessing.
According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Sheehan also provided Hill Dickinson with a business plan and schedule of billings containing untrue information when she applied to join the parnership in 2017. The respondent denies the allegations.
Under cross-examination today, Sheehan told the tribunal that the figures she gave to Dentons did not represent the amount she actually billed, but the amount she would have billed at Taylor Wessing had she had sufficient resources. She said Dentons was aware of this when it took her on as a full equity partner with annual earnings of £300,000.
However Edward Levey QC, for the SRA, told the tribunal that Sheehan knew that Dentons would understand the figures to relate to historic billing, as opposed to ‘wished for billings’. He added that the move from Taylor Wessing to Dentons was ‘great’ for Sheehan’s career and depended on a solid financial perfomance.
Levey cited an example where Sheehan billed £3,837 for a piece of work, but provided a 'wished for' figure of £220,000. 'You were making figures up, weren't you?' he said. Sheehan denied this, but said she could not recall how she arrived at the number.
The hearing is due to conclude on Friday.