• Application 11516-2016
• Admitted 2010
• Hearing 2 November 2016
• Reasons 18 November 2016
The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.
By knowingly creating misleading invoices in respect of the matters of Ms AR and Mr AP dated 29 June 2015 and 15 July 2015 respectively, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011, and rule 29.4 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
By failing to transfer the total sums of £21,000 and £3,000 received in respect of costs in the matters relating to Ms AR and Mr AP on 12 and 14 August 2015 respectively from client account to office account, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6, and rules 17.1, 17.3, 18.3, 29.1, 29.4 and 29.6 of the rules.
By making an improper withdrawal of £1,500 on 17 August 2015 from the client account ledger of Ms AR in settlement of a wasted costs order in favour of Darwin Gray Solicitors on the unconnected matter of Ms DP, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6, and rule 20.1 of the rules.
By attempting to make improper withdrawals in the sums of £1,500 and £1,800 on 26 August 2015 from the client account ledgers of Ms AR and Mr AP respectively, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6.
By fabricating a fee note dated 21 August 2015 for £1,800 including VAT, purportedly for counsel’s fees on a matter where counsel had not been instructed, and in so doing having misled his employers that that sum was genuinely owed to counsel, the respondent had breached principles 2 and 6.
In respect of each of the above breaches, the respondent had acted dishonestly.
The respondent’s motivation for his misconduct had been concealment of an error he had made in a case, which had led to a wasted costs order being made against the firm.
Dishonesty had been admitted and proved. The conduct had been repeated and the respondent had taken steps to conceal what he had done.
No member of the public had suffered as a result of the respondent’s misconduct, but his firm had. The sums involved were relatively small.
It had not been submitted that there were any exceptional circumstances in the case, nor had any been found.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £3,800.