Decisions filed recently with the Law Society (which may be subject to appeal)
Naim Ibrar Lone
Hearing 21-23 December 2020
Reasons 15 January 2021
The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £8,000.
While in practice as a recognised sole practitioner at Attiyah Lone & Associates LLP and subsequently at AL Law & Associates Solicitors LLP, the respondent had acted improperly in respect of dealing with monies in which client C had an interest in that he had inappropriately caused or allowed to be transferred the sum of £24,043.28 from Attiyah Lone to firm B; he had inappropriately caused or allowed to be transferred the sum of approximately £80,560, alternatively approximately £73,000, from Attiyah Lone to his business account; and he had inappropriately caused or allowed to be transferred the sum of approximately £73,000 from his business account to firm B; thereby breaching principles 4, 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011, failing to achieve outcome 5.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, and breaching rules 1.2(b), 13.1, and 14.1 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
He had inappropriately caused or allowed person B to work or assist on client D’s matter when person B held £43,561.99 belonging to client D, thereby breaching principles 3, 4 and 6.
He had failed to take any or any adequate steps to register a legal charge over person B’s property, thereby breaching principles 3, 4 and 6.
The respondent had not been motivated by personal gain but by an intention to try to comply with an order made in the client C proceedings, and to take on files after an SRA intervention into firm B. The fault lay in his incompetent execution of those matters.
There was no evidence that any clients had actually lost any money, but the potential for significant losses to clients C and D was high, and the fact that nobody had lost any money was down to luck rather than judgement.
The respondent’s misconduct was mitigated by his co-operation with the SRA, and was of a relatively limited duration.
The seriousness of the misconduct was such that the appropriate sanction was a fine of £8,000.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £29,359.
Deygoo & Co
On 13 January 2021, an adjudicator resolved to intervene into the remnants of the above-named former sole practice of the late Ms Eleanor Sheila Deygoo, formerly based at 50 Foxley Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 7DT.
The grounds for intervention were: it was necessary to intervene to protect the interests of the former clients of Ms Deygoo (paragraph 1(1)(m) of schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended)).
Michael Colledge of Blake Morgan LLP, New Kings Court, Tollgate, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3LG; tel: 023 8085 7270; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; has been appointed to act as the Society’s agent.
The first date of attendance was 20 January 2021.
Ms Deygoo died on 18 July 2020.
Taylor Street Solicitors LLP and PS Holdings Limited
On 1 February 2021, the SRA intervened into Taylor Street Solicitors LLP and PS Holdings Limited of 84-86 Victoria Road, Aldershot GU11 1SS.
PS Holdings Limited is a member of Taylor Street Solicitors LLP.
Mr Phillip Street, the second member of Taylor Street Solicitors LLP, died on 3 January 2021. He was also the sole director and shareholder of PS Holdings Limited.
The grounds of intervention were it was necessary to intervene to protect:
- The interests of clients (or former or potential clients) of the firms;
- The interests of the beneficiaries of any trust of which the firms are or were a trustee; or
- The interests of the beneficiaries of any trust of which a person who is or was a manager or employee of the firms is or was a trustee in that person’s capacity as such a manager or employee (paragraph 32(1)(e) of schedule 2 to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 (as amended)).
Michael Veal of Lester Aldridge LLP, Russell House, Oxford Road, Bournemouth; tel: 01202 786341; email interventions@LA-Law.com; has been appointed as the Society’s agent.
John Street Solicitors LLP
On 3 February 2021 the SRA intervened into the practice of Raj Mariaddan at John Street Solicitors LLP and into the recognised body, John Street Solicitors LLP of LK106 Lockstudios, 1st Floor, 7 Corsican Square, London E3 3YD (formerly of Suite 509, Cumberland House, 80 Scrubs Lane, London NW10 6RF).
The grounds of intervention into the practice of Mariaddan were:
- There was reason to suspect dishonesty on his part in connection with his practice at John Street Solicitors LLP and/or his former practice at John Street Solicitors – paragraph 1(1)(a)(i) schedule 1, part I, Solicitors Act 1974.
- He had failed to comply with the SRA Principles 2011 and 2019 and the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules, which are rules made under sections 31, 32 and 37 of the Solicitors Act 1974 – paragraph 1(1)(c) schedule 1, part I, Solicitors Act 1974.
The grounds for intervention into John Street Solicitors LLP were:
- There was reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Mariaddan, as a manager of the firm, in connection with the firm’s business – paragraph 32(1)(d)(i) schedule 2, Administration of Justice Act 1985.
- Mariaddan, as a manager of the firm, and the firm itself, have failed to comply with the SRA Principles 2011 and 2019, and the SRA Indemnity Insurance Rules 2019, which are rules applicable to them both under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 – paragraph 32(1)(a) schedule 2, Administration of Justice Act 1985.
Mariaddan’s practising certificate is suspended by reason of the intervention.
On 3 February 2021, an adjudicator resolved to intervene into the remnants of the above-named former partnership of John Scott (deceased) and Susan Howarth (deceased), formerly based at The Old Vicarage, 174a Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7EE. The firm closed on 31 March 2018. Ms Howarth died on 19 March 2019 and Mr Scott died on 29 October 2020.
The ground for intervention was: it was necessary to intervene to protect the interests of the former clients of the firm.
No intervention agent has been appointed.
The SRA will be making arrangements to collect all files and monies relating to this firm.