The director of a law firm who boasted online about his successes in cases involving children with special needs has been rebuked by regulators. The Solicitors Regulation Authority today said Mark Small should face no further action other than a reprimand and an order to pay £600 costs.
Small, a solicitor and director of Milton Keynes firm Baker Small Legal Services Ltd, posted a tweet in June reporting a ‘great win’ at a tribunal, before posting five further tweets.
His firm had acted for local authorities at tribunals where the special educational needs of children were considered.
In a notice published by the regulator, the SRA said Small had admitted the content of the tweets was ‘unprofessional and offensive’ and that he had failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in him.
The SRA declined to recount the content of the other five, but it was reported at the time that one tweet said the tribunal decision had ‘sent some parents into a storm’.
Other tweets included a picture of a kitten that appeared to be yawning, with the message: ‘Some great tweets received today from people who just see a one-sided argument… just shared them with my cat… .’
The tweets prompted angry responses online and one disabilities charity publishing its complaint to the SRA.
The SRA said it accepted Small’s admission and noted his conduct was ‘neither trivial nor justifiably inadvertent’.
The regulator took into account mitigation put forward by Small, which included his prompt action to delete the tweets and take responsibility for them, making a written apology within 24 hours of publications, and giving a donation to charity.