• Application 11755-2017
  • Admitted 1993
  • Hearing 8 February 2018
  • Reasons 6 March 2018

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

By undertaking work for clients in respect of immigration and asylum matters on a privately paying basis while employed by the Gloucester Law Centre, without his employer’s knowledge or consent, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and had acted dishonestly.

By failing to pay into the Gloucester Law Centre’s office account monies received from clients of a minimum total of £7,950 in respect of agreed fees for work undertaken in their immigration and asylum matters and failing to maintain proper accounting records, the respondent had breached principle 7 and rules 1.2(e), 1.2(f), 29.1(b) and 29.4 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.

By charging clients agreed fees which were not evidenced in writing for carrying out work on their immigration and asylum claims the respondent had breached principle 7 and rule 17.5 of the rules.

The respondent had carried out work as a solicitor without authorisation, thereby breaching principles 4, 7 and and rule 1 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011.

The respondent had failed to effect a policy of insurance which indemnified him against civil liabilities arising from his provision of legal services in private practice, and had thereby breached or failed to achieve principles 4 and 8, outcome O(1.8) of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 and rule 5.1 of the Solicitors Indemnity Rules 2011.

The respondent’s level of culpability was very high. He had acted dishonestly, his misconduct had been deliberate, planned and repeated over a period of almost three years, and he had concealed his actions from his employers.

There were no exceptional circumstances and the appropriate sanction was to strike the respondent off the roll.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £5,000.