SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions

SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has announced its intention to move from a criminal to a civil standard of proof but has ruled out the possibility of it leading to ‘easier prosecutions.’

Subject to approval from the Legal Services Board, which should be finalised in the next few weeks, the SDT wants the new rules to come into force on 25 November 2019, to coincide with the date the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) new guidelines come into play. Continue reading “SDT pushes for lower standard of proof in serious conduct cases but claims won’t lead to ‘easier’ prosecutions”

Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis

Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis

Gus Sellitto of Byfield Consultancy discusses the trends he is seeing in legal PR and the role of external advisers

When someone’s in trouble, they call their lawyer, but who do lawyers call in a crisis? With over 20 years’ experience in the legal PR industry, Gus Sellitto is well known for both defending and promoting the reputations of UK and global law firms and their clients. We spoke to Sellitto to find out more… Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Reputation management – who to call in a crisis”

SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal

SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal

An Allen & Overy (A&O) solicitor has been recommended for prosecution by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) over a controversial non-disclosure agreement (NDA) drafted for film producer Harvey Weinstein.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip confirmed today (3 April) that it aims to prosecute an unnamed lawyer from the firm, and is awaiting confirmation from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) as to whether the prosecution will proceed. Such considerations from the SDT tend to not take longer than six months. Continue reading “SRA attempts to prosecute A&O lawyer over controversial Weinstein gagging deal”

‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions

‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions

Junior lawyers have penned a letter to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) demanding clarification on the protection available to junior lawyers who are subject to ‘toxic’ work environments.

The letter, published yesterday (13 February) by the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers Division (JLD), cited concerns around rulings from the High Court and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal that struck off junior solicitors who were subsequently found to be working under difficult conditions. Continue reading “‘Not adequately protected’: Junior lawyers demand SRA response on concerns over toxic working conditions”

Media lawyer Mark Lewis fined £2,500 in controversial SRA antisemitism row

Media lawyer Mark Lewis fined £2,500 in controversial SRA antisemitism row

Well-known media lawyer Mark Lewis, who received a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) fine for responding angrily to online anti-Semitic abuse, has had the bulk of his fine paid by crowdfunding supporters.

Lewis, recognised for his work advising phone-hacking victims against the News of the World, was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs after he ‘wished death’ to social media abusers. Continue reading “Media lawyer Mark Lewis fined £2,500 in controversial SRA antisemitism row”

‘A giant opening for competitive forces’ – Controversial SRA handbook overhaul given green light as Passmore steps down

‘A giant opening for competitive forces’ – Controversial SRA handbook overhaul given green light as Passmore steps down

In a significant easing of practice rules, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has approved divisive plans by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to allow solicitors from unregulated businesses to offer unreserved legal services.

Crucially, permitting solicitors outside of the SRA control to offer services means consumers could have no guarantees on insurance pay outs or compensation. Continue reading “‘A giant opening for competitive forces’ – Controversial SRA handbook overhaul given green light as Passmore steps down”

Slater and Gordon fined £80,000 for Quindell disclosure breach involving more than 7,000 files

Slater and Gordon fined £80,000 for Quindell disclosure breach involving more than 7,000 files

In another chapter to the ongoing story of Slater and Gordon’s (S&G) troubled Quindell buyout, the firm has been hit with an £80,000 fine for disclosing confidential client information.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) today (29 June) imposed a £40,000 financial penalty on both S&G and Quindell Legal Services, now Slater Gordon Solutions, for disclosing un-redacted confidential information and documents from 7,087 client matter files to other firms. The pair were also ordered to pay the SRA’s costs of £26,000. Continue reading “Slater and Gordon fined £80,000 for Quindell disclosure breach involving more than 7,000 files”

‘Dubious financial arrangements’: Disgraced ex-Locke Lorde partner struck off and handed £70,000 bill

‘Dubious financial arrangements’: Disgraced ex-Locke Lorde partner struck off and handed £70,000 bill

A former Locke Lord partner who played a key role in the US firm receiving the largest ever fine from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has been struck off and ordered to pay £70,000 in costs.

Jonathan Denton, a banking and finance partner at Locke Lord, was sacked in July 2015 after using the firm’s client account for transactions ‘that bore the hallmarks of dubious financial arrangements or investment schemes’, according to a judgement from the SDT last November. Continue reading “‘Dubious financial arrangements’: Disgraced ex-Locke Lorde partner struck off and handed £70,000 bill”

CMS dismisses Singapore head and reports to SRA amid ‘confidential matters’

CMS dismisses Singapore head and reports to SRA amid ‘confidential matters’

CMS’ Singapore head has been dismissed from the firm and the matter reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Legal Business has established.

Former legacy Olswang corporate partner Andrew Stott has left the firm after his dismissal in late February was recommended by senior partner Penelope Warne and managing partner Stephen Millar and unanimously approved by the firm’s 20-partner board. Continue reading “CMS dismisses Singapore head and reports to SRA amid ‘confidential matters’”

Former Cobbetts partners fined by SDT for their role in firm’s downfall

Former Cobbetts partners fined by SDT for their role in firm’s downfall

Six former Cobbetts partners have been fined by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after an admission of failings relating to the firm’s high-profile collapse in 2013.

The six partners – which includes former managing partner Nicholas Carr and senior partner Stephen Benson – were found to be in breach of Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) principles by failing to enact an appropriate contingency plan. All six were referred to the SDT last year following allegations of providing misleading information and exhibiting manifest incompetence. Continue reading “Former Cobbetts partners fined by SDT for their role in firm’s downfall”