• Application 11719-2018
  • Admitted 1983
  • Hearing 24 April 2018
  • Reasons 5 June 2018

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll. 

The respondent had made unsecured loans totalling £370,383.01 from funds the firm was holding on trust for the beneficiaries of the estate of a late GP, to two other unrelated clients in circumstances in which he had no authority to do so, in breach of principles 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011 and rules 6.1 and 20.1(b) of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. He had acted dishonestly. 

He had failed to disclose to the beneficiaries of the estate of the late GP the fact that he had made those unsecured loans, in breach of principles 2 and 6. He had acted dishonestly.

He had unreasonably delayed in administering the estate of the late GP in breach of principles 2, 4, 5 and 6. He had acted dishonestly. 

He had continued to act as executor of the estate of the late GP when aware that his actions might give rise to a claim in negligence and that he should report the matter to his firm’s insurers, in breach of principles 2, 4, 5 and 6. 

In his capacity as COLP and COFA of the firm, he did not report the material failures of the 2011 rules and the 2011 principles to the SRA, in breach of rule 8.5 of the Authorisation Rules 2011 and in breach of principles 2, 7 and 8, and had thereby failed to achieve outcome 10.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. 

There were no exceptional circumstances in the case. There had been a gross breach of trust by the respondent. He was not fit to be a member of the profession. It was clear he could not be trusted to deal with client funds properly and both the protection of the public and the reputation of the profession required the most serious sanction to be imposed.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £33,932.