A former law firm director convicted of trying to steal mobile phones at an airport check-in desk has agreed to be struck off the roll. Shashia Gorsia, admitted in 2004, served a month in prison in Dubai.
Gorsia, who had been a director at London firm Pindoria Solicitors, had been travelling with a friend from Dubai to the UK in October 2016. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard that the pair were at the check-in counter when they picked up two boxes containing iPhone 7 devices left by another passenger who was dealing with overweight luggage.
Gorsia and his friend had been spotted by airport staff putting the boxes in their hand baggage and passing through security and passport control. When stopped at the gate, Gorsia said he had wanted to look for the owner of the phones and return them.
They were charged with attempted theft at an airport, and the solicitor was sentenced to one month imprisonment followed by deportation.
On his return to the UK, Gorsia notified the Solicitors Regulation Authority of the facts and circumstances giving rise to misconduct. He previously had a clear regulatory history.
In mitigation, not endorsed by the SRA, Gorsia recognised he had been found guilty in a foreign jurisdiction, but said he had been advised that the charges could have been challenged had he faced them in the English courts and therefore strict liability should not apply.
However the SRA found Gorsia's conduct to be 'a significant departure from the “complete integrity, probity and trustworthiness” to be expected of a solicitor'.
The tribunal approved the agreed outcome between Gorsia and the SRA that he be struck off and pay £8,500 in costs.