• Application 11729-2017
  • Admitted 2000
  • Hearing 24 April 2018
  • Reasons 25 April 2018

The SDT ordered the respondent to pay a fine of £7,501.

While the respondent was in practice as a partner at and principal of Robinsons Solicitors, a number of qualified accountant’s reports were submitted to the SRA.

Those reports showed that between September 2011 and March 2015 the respondent had acted in breach of rule 32(7) of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 and rules 14.3, 14.4, 20.6, 29.1, 29.2 and 29.12 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.

In respect of the firm’s client account reconciliations carried out between January and March 2016, the respondent had acted in breach of rules 20.6, 29.1, 29.2, 29.12 and 29.14 of the rules.

From a date unknown until at least 24 March 2016, the respondent had maintained two suspense ledger accounts without any or adequate justification and had therefore breached rules 20.1, 29.2, 29.4 and 29.25 of the rules.

On or before 30 September 2013, the respondent had caused or allowed monies to be withdrawn from client account otherwise than in accordance with rule 20.1 of the rules.

As a result of the above matters, the respondent had breached rules 1. 2(e), 1.2(f), 6.1, 7.1 and 7.2 of the rules, principles 4, 8 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011, and had failed to achieve outcomes 7.4 and 7.6 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

The SDT had been asked to deal with the allegations against the respondent in accordance with a statement of agreed facts and outcome. It had reviewed all the material before it and was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the respondent’s admissions had been properly made.

The proposed sanction was appropriate and the SDT therefore granted the application for matters to be resolved by way of agreed outcome.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £12,500.