• Application 11778-2018
  • Admitted 1998
  • Hearing 13 March 2018
  • Reasons 20 March 2018

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal granted the applicant’s application to remove the restriction on his practising certificate. 

On 28 September 2012, the applicant had admitted that he had compromised his independence by virtue of his failure to exercise proper care on steps being taken to set up a solicitor’s practice, contrary to rule 1.03 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007; and had breached the terms of rule 22 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 by virtue of improper payments made out of client bank accounts for which he was legally responsible.

The SDT imposed a fine of £2,000 and further imposed the following restriction on his ability to practise: the [applicant] may not practise as a sole practitioner, partner or member of a limited liability partnership, legal disciplinary practice or alternative business structure.

The applicant applied to remove the restriction imposed on his practising certificate.

The conduct complained of had taken place in 2009, since when the applicant had been in continuous employment, and had also been subject to the restriction.

There had been no regulatory concerns regarding the applicant’s conduct since the restriction had been imposed. The applicant had demonstrated insight and remorse into his conduct and had carved out a new area of expertise in which his previous misconduct was highly unlikely to be repeated.

His application for the removal of the condition was supported by the SRA. It was no longer necessary for the protection of the public or the reputation of the profession to continue to impose a restriction on the applicant’s practising certificate.