- Application 11625-2017
- Admitted 2005
- Hearing 1, 2 August 2017
- Reasons 15 August 2017
The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £25,000; and that he should be suspended from practice as a solicitor for 12 months from 2 August 2017, that period of suspension to be suspended for 12 months from the same date.
On 13 October 2015 the respondent had publicly communicated offensive and wholly inappropriate posts from his Facebook account, contrary to principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.
On 14 February 2016, he had publicly communicated anti-semitic and offensive and wholly inappropriate posts from his Facebook account, contrary to principles 2 and 6.
In the context of maintaining the reputation of the solicitors profession, ‘trust’ was not limited to honesty in the management of money, or telling the truth, but extended to being trusted to behave in a private and professional capacity in accordance with high professional standards.
The word ‘inspires’ was also important; solicitors were role models both in and out of professional life. It was essential that solicitors remained alert at all times to their position and influence in wider society.
The seriousness of the respondent’s misconduct was sufficient to justify the imposition of an order for suspension from practice for a period. The respondent’s lack of insight was such as to call into question his ability to moderate the expression of his strongly held views in public.
The proportionate sanction was that the respondent’s misconduct should be dealt with by means of a fine at the upper end of the scale and the imposition of a suspended period of suspension from practice.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £9,595.