• Application 11745-2017
  • Hearing 12-13 June 2018
  • Reasons 9 July 2018

The SDT ordered that the first respondent (admitted 2006) should be struck off the roll; and that the second respondent should be reprimanded. 

While a partner at Maus Solicitors the first respondent had made improper payments from client account to third parties and improper transfers from client account to office account totalling £226,500, in breach of principles 2, 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011 and rule 20.1 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011. She had acted dishonestly.

She had failed properly to record transactions on the office side of the client account ledgers and failed to have adequate narrative entries in the books of account, in breach of principle 6, and rule 29.4 of the rules.

In acting for her client, Ms S, she had failed to have sufficient regard for her duties under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and the Law Society’s warning card on money laundering in breach of principles 2, 6, 7 and 8, and had failed to comply with legislation applicable to her business, including anti-money laundering and data protection legislation in breach of outcome 7.5 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

While a partner of Maus Solicitors the second respondent had failed to prevent improper payments being made to third parties and improper transfers from client account to office account totalling £226,500, in breach of principles 6 and 10, and rule 20.1 of the rules.

By failing properly to record transactions on the office side of the client account ledgers and failing to have adequate narrative entries in the books of account, he had breached principle 6, and rule 29.4 of the rules.

The first respondent’s misconduct was at the highest level and the only appropriate sanction was a strike-off. There were no exceptional circumstances in the case that would make such an order unjust.

The second respondent’s trust in the first respondent had been breached. He had made open and frank admissions at an early stage and had fully co-operated with the SRA. He had displayed genuine insight, the level of which was such that the protection of the public and the reputation of the profession did not require a greater sanction than a reprimand.

The first respondent was ordered to pay costs of £8,000.