• Application 11642-2017 

• Hearing 9-13 October 2017

• Reasons 1 November 2017

The SDT ordered that the allegations against the first and second respondents should be dismissed, and that there should be no order for costs.

The SDT ordered that as from the 13 October 2017 except in accordance with Law Society permission: (i) no solicitor should employ or remunerate the third respondent in connection with his practice as a solicitor; (ii) no employee of a solicitor should employ or remunerate her, in connection with the solicitor’s practice; (iii) no recognised body should employ or remunerate her; (iv) no manager or employee of a recognised body should employ or remunerate her in connection with the business of that body; (v) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body should permit her to be a manager of the body; and (vi) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body should permit her to have an interest in the body.

The third respondent had been guilty of conduct such that in the opinion of the SRA it would be undesirable for her to be involved in legal practice in one or more of the ways mentioned in section 43(1)(a) of the Solicitors Act 1974 in that she, while  employed as the firm’s practice manager and head of accounts had acted in breach of rules 1.04, 1.05 and 1.06 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, and of principles 4, 5, 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011.

She had acted in breach of rule 7 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 and of rule 7 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and principle 7.

She had acted in breach of rule 1.02 of the code, and of principle 2.

It would be undesirable for the third respondent to be employed by a solicitor without the permission of the SRA given the nature of the admissions made, which included that she had acted without integrity. Accordingly, it was appropriate to make a section 43 order.

The third respondent was ordered to pay costs of £10,610.