• Application 11421-2015
• Admitted 1982
• Hearing 28 November-9 December 2016
• Reasons 1 February 2017
The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.
In the course of advising and/or acting on behalf of his client in relation to the proposed sale of a property and the related communications and/or negotiations with the client’s mortgagee, Northern Rock (Asset Management) PLC, his trustee in bankruptcy, and other third parties the respondent had: failed to act with integrity, in breach of rule 1.02 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007 and (from October 2011) principle 2 of the SRA Principles 2011; failed to behave in a way that maintained the trust the public placed in him and in the provision of legal services, in breach of rule 1.06 of the code and (from October 2011) principle 6; and taken unfair advantage of third parties in his professional capacity, in breach of rule 10.1 of the code, and (from October 2011) as a consequence he had failed to achieve mandatory outcome (11.1) in the SRA Handbook 2011.
The respondent had acted dishonestly.
The respondent’s conduct was a direct result of his attempts to secure a financial advantage for his client.
He had caused immense harm and damage to the reputation of the profession. Not only had he acted dishonestly, but he had taken advantage of third parties. His dishonest conduct was serious, and his explanation had been both incredible and disingenuous.
His evidence was disingenuous and self-serving. While the scheme itself was not inherently improper, and did not necessitate the respondent acting improperly, he had done so in furtherance of the scheme. His conduct was aggravated by his proven dishonesty, which was deliberate and calculated.
In view of the serious nature of the misconduct, in that it involved dishonesty, the appropriate and proportionate sanction was to strike the respondent off the roll.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £195,000.