Decisions filed recently with the Law Society (which may be subject to appeal)
Hearing 15 April 2020
Reasons 12 May 2020
The SDT ordered that the respondent should be suspended from practice for 12 months from 15 April 2020. Upon expiry of that term of suspension, the respondent should be subject to conditions, namely that he might not: (i) practise as a sole practitioner or sole manager or sole owner of an authorised or recognised body, as a freelance solicitor, or as a solicitor in an unregulated organisation; (ii) be a head of legal practice/compliance officer for legal practice or a head of finance and administration/compliance officer for finance and administration; (iii) work as a solicitor other than in employment approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, with liberty to apply to vary those conditions.
In a personal injury matter relating to Ms CD, the respondent had failed to perform an undertaking given to C Solicitors, in that he had failed to provide a report as to the progress of the file when requested, thereby breaching principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and failing to achieve outcome 11.2 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.
He had failed to inform the SRA promptly of his serious financial difficulties, thereby breaching principle 7 and failing to achieve outcome 10.3 of the code.
He had failed to conduct an orderly and transparent winddown of his practice, Deakin & Co, thereby breaching principles 2, 4, 6 and 8, and failing to achieve outcome 10.13 of the code.
He had failed to cooperate adequately with the SRA’s investigations into his conduct, thereby breaching principles 2, 6 and 7, and failing to achieve outcomes 10.6, 10.8 and 10.9 of the code.
The respondent’s misconduct was very serious. Undertakings played a central role in the solicitors’ profession and recipients were entitled to assume that, once given, they would be scrupulously complied with.
It was also very serious that the manner in which he had closed his practice had left clients and their documents/information at risk.
While there were no real complaints about the quality of the respondent’s work or the services he had provided to clients, he had demonstrated that he was unable to manage the financial aspects of running a legal practice.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £5,280.
James Andrew Wilson (formerly known as Victor Kruchinkin)
Hearing 3 June 2020
Reasons 18 June 2020
The SDT ordered the respondent to pay a fine of £10,000.
While in practice as an assistant solicitor at Adams & Remers LLP, by virtue of his conviction of malicious communication for which he had been sentenced to a 12-month community order; a rehabilitation activity requirement as directed for 15 days; unpaid work of 100 hours and a victim surcharge of £85, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.
The parties invited the SDT to deal with the allegation against the respondent in accordance with a statement of agreed facts and indicated outcome.
The SDT had reviewed all the material before it and was satisfied that the respondent’s admissions had been properly made.
The respondent’s conviction was as a result of inappropriate messages he sent to Ms A using social media. The seriousness of the respondent’s admitted misconduct was not such that any sanction should interfere with his right to practise.
In all the circumstances, a financial penalty was appropriate and proportionate.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £2,600.
Obelisk Law Ltd
On 10 June 2020, the Adjudication Panel resolved to intervene into the above-named firm, formerly based at Harewood House, 2 Rochdale Road, Middleton, Manchester M24 6DP. The firm was subject to a Compulsory Liquidation Order on 10 December 2018.
The grounds for intervention were: a relevant insolvency event had occurred in relation to the firm; and it was necessary to exercise the powers of intervention to protect the interests of the firm’s clients (or former or potential clients).
Sean Joyce of Stephensons Solicitors LLP, Wigan Investment Centre, Waterside Drive, Wigan, Greater Manchester WN3 5BA; tel: 0333 344 4776; has been appointed to act as the Society’s agent.
The relevant letters and notices were served on the firm’s sole director on 11 June 2020.
Stephensons Solicitors LLP will be making arrangements to uplift the files relating to the firm.
The Adjudication Panel has intervened into the sole practice of Karamjeet Kaur, practising as Quick Solicitors. Kaur practised at 6 Loxford Avenue, East Ham, London E6 3DB.
The grounds of intervention were:
- There was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Kaur in connection with her practice as a solicitor – paragraph 1(1)(a)(i) of schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974.
- Kaur had failed to comply with the SRA Principles 2011, SRA Accounts Rules 2011, SRA Authorisation Rules 2011, Principles 2019, and Accounts Rules 2019 which are rules made under sections 31 and 32 of the Solicitors Act 1974 – paragraph 1(1)(c) of schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974.
Kaur’s practising certificate was suspended as a result of the intervention.
James Dunn of Devonshires Solicitors LLP, 30 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7DT; tel: 0207 065 1830; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; has been appointed to act as the Society’s agent