Saimina-Jan Virmani

  • Application 11569-2016
  • Admitted 2008
  • Hearing 19-22 June 2017
  • Reasons 7 August 2017

The SDT ordered the respondent to pay a fine of £50,000.

The respondent had recklessly caused or permitted her firm to accept, and use, monies received from the Axiom Funds totalling at least £1,604,400, in circumstances where it was improper for her to do so and had thereby breached principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.

In failing to ensure that the litigation funding agreement pursuant to which the Axiom money had been advanced reflected and was consistent with the purpose for which the firm intended to use the money, and that the intended and actual use of the money was properly documented by the respondent and the investment manager, the respondent had breached principle 6.

In using the Axiom money for purposes not permitted by the litigation funding agreement the respondent had breached principle 6.

The respondent had failed to run the firm effectively in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles, in breach of principle 8.

The respondent had wanted to grow her practice. The firm had been in financial difficulties and she had wanted to secure its future. She had been reckless; her actions had not been deliberate. There had been significant financial loss by those affected by the misconduct.

The respondent had been deceived by at least one third party. Those involved in Axiom appeared to target small firms in financial difficulty and that was what seemed to have happened in the present case. The respondent had reached a settlement of the claim brought on behalf of the Axiom Fund so to some extent the loss arising from the misconduct had been made good.

The appropriate sanction was a fine of £50,000.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £60,000.