A solicitor struck off in 2011 has been allowed back into the profession by the tribunal, which overruled the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s objections to his return.
Shadab Ahmed Khan made a successful application to restore his name to the roll after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal accepted ‘much water had passed under the bridge’ since his convictions on money laundering charges in 2009.
It was Bradford-based Khan’s second attempt to resurrect his career as a solicitor: a previous application was refused in 2018 after the tribunal said he had not shown enough insight to understand the gravity of his offences.
This time, the SDT was satisfied that Khan ‘now saw matters as they truly were and he had removed the gloss which he previously applied’. Rejecting the SRA’s submission that he should remain banned, the tribunal said this was ‘one of those narrow category of cases where there was a route back into the profession for those who had made demonstrable, credible and real steps to rehabilitate themselves’.
The tribunal heard that Khan had been convicted of one count of money laundering and two counts of failing to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering. He had become involved in assisting a drug dealer to launder the proceeds of his crime through various conveyancing transactions, and the trial judge at Leeds Crown Court said Khan failed to report what was ‘glaringly obvious’. He served two years of a four-year sentence.
Appearing before the SDT in December, Khan, 49, explained he now appreciated the seriousness of his conviction. In a witness statement, he said: ‘My remorse is plain, absolute and unwavering. I fell short of what was expected of me. However, I have no intention of ever repeating the events or the circumstances that led to the conviction. I have and firmly intend to continue adhering to the highest professional standards and codes.’
Since leaving prison, Khan has worked in the legal department of Bradford Council as a legal officer and from August 2019 – with the permission of the SRA – worked as a paralegal with Certus Solicitors.
The SRA opposed his return to the roll, saying that evidence of rehabilitation was limited and needed to be balanced against the seriousness of the offending.
The tribunal granted the application for restoration, with conditions on his practising certificate, but ordered Khan to pay the SRA’s £3,000 costs in full.