• Application 11713-2017
  • Admitted 1997
  • Hearing 2 March 2018
  • Reasons 12 March 2018

 The SDT ordered that the respondent should be struck off the roll.

While in practice as a member at Wilkins Solicitors LLP, the respondent had failed to advise client 4 that she should seek independent legal advice prior to bequeathing a legacy to the respondent in her will, thereby breaching principles 3, 4 and 5 of the SRA Principles 2011 and failing to achieve outcome 3.4 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.

She had requested a cheque made payable to herself from client 4’s estate having failed to advise client 4 to take independent legal advice, thereby breaching principles 3 and 4 and failing to achieve outcome 3.4.

She had requested a cheque made payable to National Savings from client 4’s estate when she knew the cheque was intended to be directed to an account in her own name, in order to conceal the true beneficiary from others at the firm, thereby breaching principles 2 and 6. She had acted dishonestly.

She had sent that cheque directing that the monies be held on her behalf, knowing that she was not entitled to the monies, thereby breaching principles 2 and 6. She had acted dishonestly.

She had accepted instructions to act on behalf of client 2 and client 3 in circumstances where their instructions gave rise to a conflict of interest, thereby breaching rules 1.04, 1.05, 1.06 and 3.01 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2007.

She had breached client 2’s client confidentiality by informing client 3 that client 2 had been in contact about the lasting power of attorney and deputyship, that client 2 wanted to apply for the lasting power of attorney and that client 2 had been in contact with client 1’s GP, thereby breaching rules 1.02, 1.04, 1.05 and 1.06 of the 2007 code.

She had sent an email to client 2 in which she lied as to when she had last been in contact with client 3, thereby breaching rules 1.02, 1.05 and 1.06 of the 2007 code. She had acted dishonestly.

The matter was dealt with by way of the agreed outcome procedure.

The respondent’s level of culpability was at the highest end of the scale and the harm done to the reputation of the profession was very significant. The gravity was such that the only appropriate sanction was a strike-off, as had been agreed between the parties.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £15,000.