The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been granted two orders against the elusive owner of a firm shut down last summer. 

Andrew Lee, admitted in 2011, was the manager, sole director, and shareholder of London firm Prometheus Law Ltd, which was intervened into in July. However the High Court heard that Lee has had 'minimal engagement' with the SRA since. 

The regulator sought court orders to require Lee to hand over the firm’s documents and to redirect communications to the intervening agent. Lee, who does not have a current practising certificate as it was not renewed before the intervention, was not present or represented during the hearing. 

The court heard that the SRA had become aware of Lee continuing to deal with clients by email. Benjamin Tankel, for the SRA, cited an example of Lee 'corresponding with a client post the intervention in somewhat nebulous terms, but he seems to hold out as a solicitor'. The correspondence was from a private email address rather than Prometheus Law, Tankel said.

The SRA became aware of the gmail address after another firm got in touch after learning of the intervention into Prometheus Law. The SRA called the client who forwarded the email.

When the SRA told Lee that the intervening agent would be visiting his Hampstead,-based firm, Lee replied stating he would not be in his office on the date. The agent did not see the message until after reaching London.

Granting the orders, Master McQuail said: ‘The decision [to intervene] was made on two bases: first was Mr Lee had on 31 March 2022 allowed indemnity insurance to lapse which meant he was prohibited from taking new instructions.

‘This did not happen, and the panel saw evidence that Mr Lee accepted new instructions as late as April of 2023.'

The second basis was suspected dishonesty over a misleading statement Lee's insurance broker about the SRA’s concerns, the court heard. 

The judge said ‘despite pleading extenuating family circumstances’ Lee carried on working ‘objecting that he should comply with regulations’.

She said a further email from Lee ‘describes himself as feeling sad at the whole situation, feeling depressed and that the intervention was "mean".'

On the service of the orders, the judge said: ‘It is clearly necessary to serve Mr Lee by alternative means…because compliance with the disclosure deliver-up rather requires his participation so he needs to have the orders brought to his attention.’

The deliver-up order and communication redirection order were granted and a costs order for £15,997.85 made against Lee and the firm.