Four former directors of London practice Kaim Todner have been fined for failing to report the firm’s financial difficulties to the regulator.
Claire Anderson, Hulusi Ali, Stephen Garland and Heidi Leaney were each found in breach of two Solicitors Regulation Authority principles by not ‘promptly’ reporting that the firm was encountering serious problems in 2012 and 2013.
The quartet, who all resigned as directors this year after its acquisition by One Legal, were each ordered to pay a financial penalty of £1,000.
They must also pay £362.50 in relation to the SRA’s costs and an additional £50 in respect of an unsuccessful appeal against the findings of an adjudicator. The decision was made in July and details were published today.
In a separate notice, also published today, former Kaim Todner director Robert Kaim can now practise without conditions.
The SRA said it was satisfied there is no continuing public interest in imposing practising certificate conditions.
Kaim, who now works for London firm Leslie Franks Solicitors, was rebuked in February 2015 for failing to inform the SRA about financial difficulties at Kaim Todner, although the decision was only published today.
In January 2015 Kaim was told he could only act as an employee solicitor and could not be a sole practitioner, or manager or owner of an authorised body.
Kaim Todner is recognised as one of the country’s leading firms for extradition law and also challenged the government’s procurement process for new criminal legal aid contracts.
Manchester firm One Legal announced in March it had completed a deal to acquire and preserve Kaim Todner Solicitors, after the firm had previously said it was moving towards a ‘controlled and orderly closure’.
According to documents filed with Companies House, Kaim Todner had a company voluntary arrangement approved by its creditors in June 2013, with agreed monthly contributions of £20,000 paid for 44 months.
The company then suffered as a result of legal aid funding cuts and in consequence the level of contributions was not viable. The creditors agreed to a variation of the CVA at a meeting held in March this year.
The company’s original statement of affairs, following the CVA, identified 19 creditors who were owed a total of £815,943. When creditors were asked to prove their claims to CVA supervisor RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP, eight unsecured creditor claims were received and approved totaling £863,841.
Following two payments made in October 2014 and July 2016, unsecured creditors have been paid a total dividend of 52.12p in the pound.
RSM also confirmed Barclays Bank PLC was owed £655,000 based on a debenture from April 2011, although the bank is outside the CVA.