• Application 11506-2016
• Admitted 1983
• Hearing 22 September 2016
• Reasons 25 October 2016
The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £7,000.
The respondent had misled or attempted to mislead the defendant and the court into believing that the content of a particulars of claim had been verified by the claimants when that was not the case, in breach of principles 1, 2 and 6 and outcome 5.6 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011; and while he had not been attempting to deceive the court in breach of outcome 5.1, he had however recklessly done so.
The respondent had failed to act in the best interests of his clients by serving an amended particulars of claim, which had not been verified by valid statement of truth, leading to his clients’ claim being struck out by the court, in breach of principle 5.
The respondent had wanted to prevent the time period for issuing the proceedings from expiring. His actions were spontaneous and he had not acted in breach of the position of trust.
The clients’ claim had been struck out as a consequence of the respondent’s actions. The impact on the reputation of the profession was serious, as the integrity of documents was of fundamental importance to the trust the public placed in the profession. It was a deliberate and calculated act, but was a single episode.
The appropriate sanction was a fine of £7,000.
The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £7,000.