A former Lancashire law firm boss has been allowed back as a solicitor almost 22 years after being struck off.

Bushra Anwar was restored to the roll without any conditions on her practising certificate following a one-day hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month.

The tribunal had heard how Anwar had been struck off in May 1999 after a number of allegations were proved against her, including drawing monies out of a client account without permission, employing a solicitor without permission and being found in contempt of court.

An application for restoration in 2007 was refused, but since then Anwar has worked for six years with a Manchester firm – after gaining permission from the SRA - and has undertaken extensive community and charitable work. She told the tribunal that at the time of her misconduct she was a ‘young and relatively inexperienced solicitor’ but in the subsequent years she had worked in various jobs, including as a law lecturer, and was regarded as ‘upstanding, honest and with a good reputation’.

SDT sign

Tribunal: actions dating from when solicitor was young should not blight her whole life

Source: Michael Cross

Anwar stated she had maintained her legal knowledge and completed CPD courses and hoped she could now be regarded as a ‘fit and proper person’ to return to the profession.

It was also submitted that the original case had not involved any allegation of dishonesty, and that the issues of integrity and probity had been dealt with by rehabilitation.

The SRA took a neutral stance on the application. The tribunal said it was satisfied that Anwar fully accepted what she had done. Its ruling added: ‘{Anwar’s] maturity and experience of life had increased, as reflected in her legal and voluntary work. The tribunal took into account the character references provided on her behalf, including from her most recent employer. There was also evidence of highly satisfied clients.

‘The tribunal was satisfied that restoration of this applicant to the roll would not undermine the profession in the eyes of public. What she had done when young and inexperienced should not blight her for the rest of her life.’

Anwar was ordered to pay £3,000 costs.