A former director at a Newcastle firm has been barred from working in profession for misleading a client that court proceedings were issued.
John Mitton, a non solicitor who worked for almost two years at PG Legal Limited until May 2016, was instructed to act for the client in an employment dispute with a recruitment agency.
According to a regulatory settlement agreement published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Mitton sent several emails between February 2015 and March 2016 giving the impression that court proceedings had been issued.
In fact no proceedings had been issued, and Mitton had never drafted a court application. He admitted the emails would have led the client to believe the case was progressing.
In mitigation, he told the SRA he was experiencing personal problems which meant he was unable to devote his time to the firm, he promptly admitted what he had done, and he accepted his conduct was inappropriate, particularly as a firm director. He also pointed to a clear regulatory history up to this point.
The SRA fined Mitton £1,000 and ordered that he must not work in a regulated entity again without its permission.
In a separate settlement, SRA imposed a similar ban on Louise Williams, a legal executive with Merseyside firm Carpenters from March 1998 to September 2016.
Williams, a fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, created letters and documents which she backdated over the course of five months in 2015, the SRA said.