Decisions filed recently with the Law Society (which may be subject to appeal)
Hearing 13 December 2018
Reasons 21 January 2019
The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.
The respondent had transferred client money totalling £90,000 from client bank account and misused it to pay personal debts owed to HMRC, thereby breaching rule 20.1 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and principles 2, 4, 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011. He had acted dishonestly.
He had withdrawn money from client account other than for the reasons permitted by the rules and made withdrawals from client account in excess of money held on behalf of clients, thereby breaching rules 20.1 and 20.6 of the rules and principle 10.
He had failed to keep accounting records in accordance with rule 29.
Funds in respect of unpaid professional disbursements had remained in office account and he had not paid the disbursements or transferred the sums to client account, in breach of rule 17.1(b).
He had failed to remedy breaches of the rules promptly upon discovery in breach of rule 7 thereof.
He had failed to run his business or carry out his role in his business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles, breaching principle 8 and failing to achieve outcome 7.4 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.
He had breached principle 6 by virtue of his conviction on 26 June 2017 for continuing to provide services in contravention of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, in circumstances where HMRC had issued a notice of requirement.
The respondent’s motivation was to avoid being made bankrupt and his conduct was therefore entirely for his own financial benefit.
His misconduct had caused harm to the reputation of the profession and was aggravated by his proven dishonesty. Further, it had resulted in claims on the Compensation Fund.
There were no exceptional circumstances in the case. The only appropriate and proportionate sanction was to order that the respondent be struck off the roll.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £17,925.
Barstow Roy Solicitor
On 25 April 2019, the adjudication panel intervened into the remainder of the sole practice of Caroline Roy, deceased, formerly practising as Barstow Roy Solicitor at The Old Piggery, Hollybush Lane, Burghfield Common, Reading RG7 3JS.
The ground for intervention was that it was necessary to intervene to protect the interests of former clients of Barstow Roy Solicitor.
No agent has been appointed.
Arrangements are being made to collect the practice papers.