Decisions filed recently with the Law Society (which may be subject to appeal)

Dean Trent Copley

Application 12326-2022

Admitted 1988

Hearing 30 May 2022

Reasons 10 June 2022

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the respondent should be suspended from practice for

12 months from 30 May 2022.  

While in practice as a solicitor at Gateley PLC the respondent had, on 25 January 2016, improperly accepted payment of £2,500 into his personal bank account from company A, thereby breaching principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.

From 25 January 2016 onwards, he had failed to declare the payment of £2,500 to his employer, thereby breaching principles 2 and 6.

The parties had invited the SDT to deal with the allegations against the respondent in accordance with a statement of agreed facts and outcome.

The SDT had reviewed all the material before it and was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the respondent’s admissions had been properly made.

The respondent was a solicitor with extensive experience, and should have been well acquainted with the rules regarding the acceptance of gifts.

The public were entitled to expect that members of the legal profession would handle gifts from clients in accordance with any internal policies created by their employer.

Further, while the gift received by the respondent in January 2016 had been made voluntarily, his client CL had expressed dismay at receiving a request for further payment in December 2016.

Seeking to elicit a further such payment from a client, who was already paying fees to the respondent’s employer, further threatened the public’s trust and confidence in the profession, as well as harming the reputation of the profession.

Considering the facts of the case, the seriousness of the misconduct and to give effect to the purpose of sanction, the SDT agreed that the case fell in a bracket in which a period of suspension was appropriate.

It viewed the respondent’s agreement to be suspended from the roll for a period of 12 months and to pay a contribution to costs to the SRA of £12,000 to be a proportionate resolution of the matter.

Anthony Gerard Eastwood

Application 12289-2021

Admitted 1987

Hearing 12-13 April 2022

Reasons 18 May 2022

The SDT ordered that the respondent should be reprimanded. 

The respondent had acted as a solicitor when he was not authorised to do so in that, with his name on the roll of solicitors, (i) he had been employed by a regulated firm, Kingly Solicitors Limited, as a solicitor without a valid practising certificate for the 2019/20 practice year being in force; (ii) he had been employed by a regulated firm, Blackett Hart & Pratt LLP, as an associate solicitor without a valid practising certificate for the 2019/20 practice year being in force; and (iii) he had been employed by a regulated firm Savage Silk Limited as a senior associate without a valid practising certificate for the 2019/20 and/or 2020/21 practice years being in force. He had thereby breached principle 2 of the SRA Principles 2019 and paragraph 7.1 of the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors 2019.

He had misled Kingly Solicitors, BHP and Savage Silk about the status of his practising certificate in that (i) he had not informed Kingly Solicitors that he had not renewed his practising certificate for the 2019/20 practice year; (ii) he had not informed BHP that he did not hold a certificate for the practising year 2019/20; and (iii) he had stated to BHP he would log onto his SRA account and print his current practising certificate when he knew or ought to have known that would not be possible because he did not hold a practising certificate for the practising year 2019/20 at that time. He had thereby breached principle 2.

The respondent’s misconduct represented a failure to take necessary steps sufficiently promptly or proactively. He had genuinely considered that the issues with his certificate could be easily and quickly resolved and had been in dialogue with his employers and the SRA about that and the payment of the fee. He had not misled the SRA. His misconduct was the result of sloppiness and carelessness rather than deliberate.

The reputation of the profession had inevitably been harmed by the misconduct, which related to a foundational requirement of practice. No other specific harm had been caused.

The respondent had been very open, both with the SRA and during the hearing. The misconduct had been of a relatively brief duration, in an otherwise long and unblemished career. He had made frank admissions, and had displayed genuine insight into the misconduct and remorse.

The imposition of a reprimand was sufficient and appropriate.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £1,800.

Khokhar Solicitors

On 22 June 2022, the SRA intervened into the recognised sole practice of Iqbal Mehmood Khokhar, Khokhar Solicitors of 52 Tuns Lane, Slough SL1 2XD and 686-692 London Road, Hounslow TW3 1PG.

The grounds of intervention were:

  • There was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Khokhar in connection with his practice as a solicitor – paragraph 1(1)(a)(i) Schedule 1, Part I, Solicitors Act 1974.
  • It was necessary to intervene to protect the interests of clients or former clients and any beneficiaries of any trust of which Khokhar is or was a trustee.

Emma Porter of Shakespeare Martineau LLP, SHMA SRA Interventions, PO Box 18228, Birmingham B2 2HX; tel: 0300 247 2470; email:; has been appointed  to act as the Law Society’s agent.

Khokhar’s practising certificate was suspended by reason of the intervention.