A solicitor nearing retirement has agreed to remove himself from the roll after faking a signature to push through one of his final pieces of work.
Gareth Meyjes, admitted in 1973, was the executor of an estate and signed off on estate accounts with his co-executors.
But they had not sworn the oath in front of an independent solicitor as required and had left the office when Mayjes noticed the mistake. Rather than have the executors repeat their oaths, Meyjes added the details of an independent solicitor who could sign off as having been a witness.
Meyjes admitted in a regulatory settlement agreement with the SRA that he acted dishonestly, without integrity and not in the best interests of his client.
In his mitigation he described his mistake as a ‘moment of madness, when trying to conclude matters quickly’. He was due to retire shortly and felt under pressure to close as many matters as possible.
The SRA said Meyjes had cooperated throughout its investigation and helped to make sure the oaths were properly sworn. It was an isolated incident which caused no detriment to the client and from which Mayjes gained no financial advantage.
His practice, where Meyjes was a consultant, has had the oaths re-sworn, terminated its retainer, waived its fee and transferred the files to another firm.
Having already retired from practice and no longer holding a practising certificate, Meyjes undertook to remove himself from the roll within the next 28 days. He must also pay the SRA’s £912 costs.