• Application 11795-2018
  • Hearing 20 April 2018
  • Reasons 30 April 2018

The SDT ordered that the respondent should pay a fine of £5,000. The respondent’s firm had failed to handle client money received in respect of professional disbursements in accordance with rules 17 and 20 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and had used the money to fund the general expenses of the firm, resulting in a cash shortage on client account of £58,786.74 which he had failed promptly to remedy, in breach of rules 6, 7, 17 and 20 of the rules and principles 6 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011.

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 matter had originally been heard before the SDT in December 2015. The respondent in the present proceedings had been the second respondent in the original proceedings. Following the applicant’s appeal to the High Court against the SDT’s decision the respondents appealed to the Court of Appeal, which found the above allegations proved against the respondent.

In March 2018, the case was remitted to the SDT to determine at a further hearing, in the light of the court’s judgment on the appeal, the sanction that should be imposed on the respondent and the appropriate costs order against him in respect of the SDT proceedings.

In April 2018, the parties invited the SDT to deal with sanction by way of the agreed outcome procedure, and the SDT determined that the sanction proposed was appropriate and proportionate.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £20,000.