A 'solicitor' who relied on bogus qualifications to gain entry to the profession has been struck off.
Muhammad Ifzal submitted certificates purportedly from BPP University College in support of his application for admission to the roll.
Ifzal had been issued with a certificate of eligibility by the SRA in 2011 under the qualified lawyers transfer regulations: this confirmed he was eligible to be admitted in this country after undertaking certain tests in litigation, professional conduct and account, principles of common law and property.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard that Ifzal had two years to complete the tests and undertook most of them with BPP. He duly presented the SRA with certificates saying he had passed and was admitted to the roll, although he was never issued with a practising certificate.
However, the university subsequently told the regulator Ifzal had in fact failed the tests, and that all the certificates were forgeries.
Records showed that Ifzal failed several modules: he received a mark of 47% for the professional conduct and accounts test (although he later passed this module), got 42% for his property test, and scored just 28% for his test on the principles of common law.
The SRA told the tribunal that Ifzal, who did not attend his hearing and was not represented, would have known that statements made in his application were not correct. It was submitted he acted dishonestly, knowing he failed the tests but acting as if he had passed.
The tribunal found that Ifzal, 44 this year, had knowingly submitted falsified certificates to the SRA, and it did not accept he believed these to be genuine.
The public, it was ruled, would expect solicitors to submit accurate and true information on their application and would not trust a solicitor who had been admitted to the roll on the basis of false information. His actions were planned and he deliberately misled the regulator, showing a complete departure from the standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness expected of him. He was struck off the roll and ordered to pay £3,644 costs.