Hashok Kumar Parmar

  • Application 11571-2016
  • Admitted 1992
  • Hearing 24 February 2017
  • Reasons 28 March 2017

The SDT ordered that the respondent should be suspended from practice for 18 months from 24 February 2017. Upon the expiry of that term of suspension, the respondent would be subject to the following conditions: that he might not (i) practise as a sole practitioner or sole manager or sole owner of an authorised or recognised body; (ii) be a partner or member of a limited liability partnership, legal disciplinary practice or alternative business structure; (iii) be a compliance officer for legal practice or a compliance officer for finance and administration; (iv) be employed as a solicitor otherwise than in employment which had been approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; with liberty to either party to apply to vary those conditions.

The respondent had failed to supervise GA, head of operations of the firm of which the respondent was principal, in his performance of his duties, in breach of principles 2, 6, 8 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011, and had failed to achieve outcomes O(7.1) and O(7.3) of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. In so doing, he had acted recklessly.

From 9 December 2013, the respondent knew that GA had been convicted of criminal offences but did not report the fact to the SRA, in breach of principle 7, and had failed to achieve outcome O(10.4).

Between 31 December 2013 and 29 December 2014, GA had misappropriated £59,615.16 from the firm’s client account, and the respondent had thereby breached principles 2, 6, and 10 and rule 20.1 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. In so doing, he had acted recklessly.

On a date unknown prior to 29 December 2014, GA had misappropriated £1,800 from clients of the firm, and the respondent had thereby breached principles 2, 6, and 10 and rule 14.1 of the rules. In so doing, he had acted recklessly.

The respondent had failed to lodge accountant’s reports for the firm for the accounting periods 5 April 2011 to 4 April 2012 and 5 April 2012 to 4 April 2013 until 30 July 2014, in breach of rule 32.1 of the rules.

The respondent had made a statement in a professional indemnity insurance proposal form dated 4 December 2013 which he knew, or should have known, to be untrue in breach of principles 2 and 6.

The respondent’s conduct had taken place over a period of two years and had allowed a third party to repeatedly misappropriate a large amount of client funds.

However, the respondent had now demonstrated insight, rectified matters by repaying the misappropriated funds, made early admissions, co-operated fully with his regulator and had a previously unblemished record.

A suspension of 18 months and thereafter a restriction on the respondent’s ability to practise was a proportionate and appropriate sanction in the present case.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £4,000.