Nigel George Walshe

  • Application 11620-2017
  • Admitted 1978
  • Hearing 18, 19 July 2017
  • Reasons 22 August 2017

The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £5,000.

In county court proceedings between a client, AL, and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the respondent had been reckless as to the truth of the existence of a conflict of interest between Dr D (an expert witness) and Dr I (a defendant in the proceedings) and had recklessly misled the court as to the existence of such a conflict of interest, in circumstances where he knew, or ought to have known, that there was no such conflict, or had not undertaken sufficient investigation to establish whether or not there was a conflict.

In so doing, he had breached principles 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and had failed to achieve outcomes 5.1 and 5.6 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

The SDT accepted that the respondent should not be unduly punished and that he did not pose any risk to the public. However, showing a lack of integrity, albeit in a relatively short period, was always serious. The respondent had appreciated there was a risk of misleading the court, but had carried on regardless.

It was not necessary to interfere with the respondent’s ability to practise as a solicitor, particularly in the light of his long and unblemished career. A fine of  £9,000 was the appropriate sanction given the nature of the misconduct.

However, having taken into account the respondent’s means, and in order to avoid unduly punishing him, the amount of the fine actually payable was reduced to £5,000 from the assessed level of £9,000.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £12,000.