Stuart Michael Stones

  • Application 11616-2017
  • Admitted 2002
  • Hearing 4 July 2017
  • Reasons 19 July 2017

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

The respondent had held himself out as having the authority of Ratio Law LLP to send letters to third parties in connection with its practice, when he was not employed by that firm, did not otherwise have its authority to do so, and was in any event not authorised to practise as a solicitor, in breach of principles 2 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and rule 1.1 of the SRA Practice Framework Rules 2011. In so doing, he had acted dishonestly .

He had made untrue and misleading statements in letters, in breach of principles 2 and 6. In so doing, he had acted dishonestly.

He had made untrue statements in an email, in breach of principles 2 and 6. In so doing, he had acted dishonestly.

He had practised without insurance when dealing with the above matters, therefore failing to comply with rule 4.1 of the SRA Indemnity Rules 2013.

The respondent’s motivation had been to encourage third parties to deal with him by creating a false impression. His culpability was high.

The public would not expect a solicitor to send letters using the letterhead of a firm to which they had no connection containing statements which were untrue and misleading.

The matters were aggravated by the respondent’s dishonesty. There were no mitigating factors.

The only appropriate sanction was a strike-off. There were no exceptional circumstances that would make such an order unjust in the present case.

The respondent was ordered to pay costs of £7,488.