A solicitor who offered a client money to withdraw a complaint and invented a fictional claimant for personal benefit has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Shuaib Saeed, admitted in 2013, was working at Bromley firm MK Law Solicitors Limited when he repeatedly contacted a client to persuade him to keep using his services and offered him money to drop his service complaint, the judgment states.
The SRA submitted before a tribunal hearing that after offering his former client money, Saeed then told him that he was taking legal action against him for blackmail and that ‘the police would be knocking at his door to arrest him’.
The tribunal found that Saeed had not acted with integrity, had not acted in the best interests of his client, had not provided a proper standard of service and had not acted in a way that maintained public trust.
The tribunal also found that, on a separate occasion, Saeed invented a fictional claimant for personal benefit. According to the judgment, Saeed was representing a client in connection with allegations of criminal damage when he claimed one of his client’s ‘victims’ should be compensated £3,800 ‘to avoid any civil proceedings’. The ‘victim’ did not in fact exist and Saeed himself benefited from the payment.
The tribunal said: ‘The respondent had not accounted to his employer for that money nor was there any evidence that the money had in fact been paid to [the alleged victim].’
According to the judgment, Saeed, who was a solicitor-advocate, did not attend the hearing and is believed to have been living at an unknown address in Dubai.
The judgment states that Saeed’s misconduct was ‘extremely serious’ and ‘there were no exceptional circumstances so far as the tribunal was aware’. It added that there were a number of aggravating factors and dishonesty had been proved.
The tribunal ordered Saeed to be struck off the roll of solicitors and to pay £10,000 in costs.