A housing solicitor who kept client monies as payment for translation work has left the profession for at least four years.
Eva Holthausen undertook to remove her name from the roll of solicitors and not to seek restoration for that period, after admitting to three breaches of SRA accounts rules.
According to an SRA notice published this week, Holthausen worked for east London firm Spence & Horne for tenants in housing matters, where they instructed her to defend possession proceedings and bring a disrepair claim against their landlord.
Three invoices were sent between October 2016 and January 2017 which included sums for translation work undertaken by her but not specifically identified on the invoice.
Clients made two cash payments to Holthausen, who previously owned her own translation business, and the money was paid into her personal bank account.
She sent cheques from her personal bank account to pay counsel and surveyors who had been instructed, then kept a sum for her own work as a translator.
The firm reported her to the SRA in March 2017 and the regulator has now reached a regulatory settlement agreement with her.
Holthausen admitted breaching SRA rules but, in her own mitigation, did not accept she had behaved dishonestly or had tried to hide the fact she was paying money from her personal account. She believed she could charge for extra work on her own account and she was entitled to keep the money herself.
If she does apply for restoration to the roll, she will need to provide evidence she is fit to work in the provision of legal services.
Her former firm declined to comment.