David Goldberg and White & Case LLP

  • Application 11592-2016
  • Hearing 18 July 2017
  • Reasons 4 August 2017

The SDT ordered that the first respondent (admitted 2005) should pay a fine of £50,000, and that the second respondent (recognised body) should pay a fine of £250,000.

The matter was dealt by way of the agreed outcome procedure.

The first and second respondents had accepted instructions from, and undertaken work on behalf of, clients without causing adequate steps to be taken to ensure that no conflicts of interest between clients, or significant risk of conflicts of interests, arose; and without causing adequate steps to be taken to ensure the confidentiality of clients’ information.

For the avoidance of doubt, there was no allegation that the respondents had acted dishonestly. Further, the applicant had not pursued allegations of lack of integrity against either respondent.

The first respondent’s conduct could not be addressed by no order or a reprimand but it did not go beyond a financial penalty. The SDT agreed that the conduct in question fell at the high end of Level 4 of its Indicative Fine Band because of the potential harm to the international reputation of the legal profession, and that the proposed fine of £50,000 was a reasonable and proportionate penalty.

The SDT considered that the second respondent’s conduct was significantly serious and agreed that it came within Level 5 of its Indicative Fine Bands. In all the circumstances, the proposed fine of £250,000 was reasonable and proportionate.

The first respondent was ordered to pay a contribution of £12,500 to the costs of the application, and the second respondent was ordered to pay a contribution of £25,000.