‘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”

#MeToo: SRA puts foot down on non-disclosure agreements

#MeToo: SRA puts foot down on non-disclosure agreements

With the profession rocking from multiple allegations of sexual harassment against law firm partners recently, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today (12 March) taken action to combat the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

In a warning notice on the regulator’s website, the SRA has stipulated that NDAs would be improperly used if they sought to prevent a person from reporting misconduct to the police or other prosecution or regulatory authority. Continue reading “#MeToo: SRA puts foot down on non-disclosure agreements”

Howard Kennedy faces £35,000 fine for lax client account handling but watchdog U-turn draws flak

Howard Kennedy faces £35,000 fine for lax client account handling but watchdog U-turn draws flak

Howard Kennedy and one of its former partners have been sanctioned for providing a client with a prohibited banking facility, with the top 100 UK law firm facing a £35,000 fine after a Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigation.

The ruling from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), which was published on Thursday (1 March), saw Howard Kennedy ordered to pay £46,950 in costs. Christopher Langford, a former partner and then consultant at Howard Kennedy, also admitted to facilitating payments in and out of the firm’s client account that were not related to any underlying legal transaction. Continue reading “Howard Kennedy faces £35,000 fine for lax client account handling but watchdog U-turn draws flak”

Off the leash – as regulators target City leaders, is more to come?

Off the leash – as regulators target City leaders, is more to come?

It was a prized scalp. In December, Clifford Chance (CC) became the first Magic Circle player to fall foul of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), when the firm and its disputes partner Alex Panayides were each fined £50,000 for their role in the well-documented Excalibur professional negligence saga.

It was a highly-symbolic move. But the £50,000 penalty is small beer relative to CC’s global revenues, and to the fines received by White & Case and Locke Lord in 2017. US firm Locke Lord, with a small City operation, was ordered to pay a record £500,000. Continue reading “Off the leash – as regulators target City leaders, is more to come?”