• Richard Harbord
  • Application 11614-2017
  • Admitted 2002
  • Hearing 16, 17 August 2017
  • Reasons 29 August 2017

The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £8,500.

The respondent had acted for Mrs N in family law proceedings, during the course of which he had a personal relationship with her, details of which he had not disclosed to the court, which resulted in there being a risk of a conflict of interests, in breach of principles 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and outcome 5.6 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011. He had also sent a misleading or disingenuous letter to the solicitors acting for Mr N, in breach of principles 2 and 6.

The misconduct was a one-off and there was no likelihood of repetition. A fine was the appropriate sanction given the seriousness of the misconduct. The appropriate fine would fall into the level 3 category of ‘more serious’.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £9,483.