• Application 11645-2017
• Admitted 2006
• Hearing 10 October 2017
• Reasons 1 November 2017
The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £15,000.
The respondent had initially been facing the proceedings with a corespondent, Mohammed Ayub. His case had been severed and dealt with by way of the agreed outcome procedure.
The respondent had failed to supervise the conduct of divorce proceedings by members of staff of Chambers Solicitors and/or a person at the firm doing work experience, so as to prevent clients RB, AD and NM being provided with false decrees absolute, thereby breaching principles 4 5, 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011 and rules 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 5.01(1)(a) and (i) and rule 5.03 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, and failing to achieve outcomes 7.6 and 7.8 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. The harm caused to the individuals and their families by the respondent’s failure to supervise was immense and incalculable.
It was correct to note that the individual(s) forging the documents had direct responsibility for their actions. However, there was always a risk, when failing to supervise, that a rogue employee could take advantage of a lax regime.
The harm to the reputation of the profession was significant.
The seriousness of the misconduct was such that the appropriate sanction was a financial penalty.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £5,361.