A solicitor who embarked on a ‘long and significant’ period of personal and professional rehabilitation has been allowed back into the profession.
Ahmar Hussain was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in October 2010 but restored to the roll by that same tribunal following a hearing last month.
Hussain submitted that public confidence in the profession would not suffer from his return; he had learned from his mistakes and was better equipped to practise as a solicitor.
The tribunal heard Hussain had been struck off after failing to supervise staff within his firm and acting recklessly. The allegations concerned six property transactions which were subject to fraud by others. He described losing virtually everything when his firm was intervened in, having failed to adequately carry out checks on new recruits who had gained his trust. He was not found to have been dishonest.
Since 2010, Hussain submitted he had to some extent ‘regained the trust’ of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. He had been granted SRA permission to work as a legal assistant in 2014 and in 2016 the conditions on this permission were varied to allow him to undertake a limited number of hearings in the Immigration Tribunal. The SRA was now neutral on his application for restoration.
Since his partial return to the profession he has received no complaints. His application for restoration came with supportive references from directors of his current firm.
Hussain said he had booked training on client care and regulation, having already completed courses on compliance. He would return to family and immigration work and would not be involved in conveyancing transactions again.
The tribunal found Hussain to be an ‘honest and credible’ witness, whose failings had been exploited when he was taken in by determined and convincing fraudsters.
His practising certificate will restrict him from doing conveyancing work, owning a law firm, or acting as a compliance officer in a firm. He agreed to pay £2,500 towards the SRA’s costs.