A solicitor who breached a court injunction in the midst of a bitter family feud has been fined by the tribunal.
Mohammed Adrees Younis, 37 and a solicitor for 11 years, had been found in contempt of court at Liverpool County Court in February 2017 and fined £5,000.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal imposed its own fine of £7,500 – plus an order for £4,800 in costs – following a hearing last month.
The tribunal heard that Younis’ father had brought a claim against his four brothers with respect to the family businesses – one of which was a law firm.
During the disclosure stage of the claim it came to light that the father possessed a large number of documents which were confidential to the defendants, removed, allegedly without permission, from the firm’s offices.
In March 2016, the firm applied for and was granted an interim injunction prohibiting these documents from being shared for three weeks, but in the interim period Younis made three copies and delivered them to HMRC and the CPS and arranged for a set to be delivered to the SRA.
In November 2016, Younis applied to the court admitting the breach of the injunction and seeking to purge his contempt. He then reported his conduct to the SRA.
Younis submitted to the tribunal he was in a ‘highly emotional state’ at the time of breaching the injunction after promising his father he would disclose the documents. He had not seen any injunction and in any case the recipients of the papers did not read them so no harm was done.
In sentencing, Mr Justice Norris had said Younis came close to being sent to prison, but he was a man of previous good character who had run the risk of breaching an order rather than committing flagrant and deliberate contempt.
The tribunal said Younis knew he was breaching his obligations as a solicitor, but this was also a single brief episode and evidently out of character.