• Application 11702-2017
  • Admitted 2009
  • Hearing 16 February 2018
  • Reasons 6 March 2018

The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.

The respondent had provided a witness statement dated 24 March 2015 to Genus Law for the purpose of High Court proceedings which he knew contained false and/or misleading information. In so doing, he had breached principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and failed to achieve outcome 5.1 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. The respondent had acted dishonestly.

The present case was one of deliberate dishonesty which had continued over a period of time. The respondent had made a conscious decision to lie in his witness statement, intending to mislead the court as to the reasons for his failure to diarise and attend an application for summary judgment on 4 August 2014 and/or to make submissions on behalf of his client.

He had taken no action at all between receiving the summary judgment in August 2014 and 24 March 2015, in spite of the fact that in January 2015 his failures on the client matter came to a head with service on the client of a winding-up petition.

The respondent had had the perfect opportunity to own up to his wrongdoing on receipt of the winding-up petition. He had instead provided the false witness statement two months later in response to the request from Genus Law.

In spite of the many opportunities along the way for the respondent to put matters right, by his dishonesty he had made the situation much worse. This was not a momentary aberration occurring during an episode of panic, but a sustained pattern of behaviour.

There were no exceptional circumstances in the case: the respondent, an experienced solicitor in a supportive environment, had made a mistake and covered it up with lies to the court.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £7,391.