• Application 11484-2016

• Admitted 2008

• Hearing 11, 12 October 2016

• Reasons 31 October 2016

The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.

The respondent had acted in breach of: rule 29 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and principles 4, 6, 7 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011 by failing at all times to keep accounting records properly written up to show dealings with client money received, held or paid; rules 20 and 17.02 of the 2011 rules and principles 2, 4, 6 and 10 by making improper transfers from client account; rule 7 of the 2011 rules, and principles 7 and 10 by failing to replace the shortage on client account; principles 2 and 6 by misleading the forensic investigation officer during her investigation by, among other things, providing her with falsified accounting records, documents and emails; principles 2 and 6 by misleading his clients Mr and Mrs B by providing them with falsified bank statements and payment debit slips that purported to show that he had paid off their liabilities, and in so doing had acted dishonestly; principles 2, 4 and 6 in that, on 4 August 2014, he had sent to his clients Mr and Mrs R a falsified bank statement which purported to show that their mortgage had been redeemed when it had not, and in so doing had acted dishonestly; principles 2 and 6, in that on 7 November 2012 he had provided forged building regulation certificates to a Mr IW who acted for Royal Bank of Scotland in a property transaction, and in so doing had acted dishonestly; and principles 2 and 6 by forging an opinion of Mr AT QC, dated 15 July 2013, and fabricating an email from his clerk Mr JR, dated 19 July 2013, thereby misleading his client CCL to whom he had supplied a copy of the forged opinion on 17 July 2013, and in so doing had acted dishonestly.

The respondent had completely failed to comply with his obligations. The case involved dishonesty and lack of integrity of a very substantial nature. The respondent had taken money belonging to clients, and misled them and the regulator as to his actions by forging documents and fabricating non-existent emails to cover his tracks.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £65,867.