News

Murdochs maintains Chambers UK 2018 ranking as a Leading Firm in Professional Discipline

In yesterday’s release, Murdochs were ranked in Band 3 of 5 in Chambers UK wide Professional Discipline sector, placing the firm as the equal highest ranked specialist solicitors professional discipline firm in the UK. Murdochs’ three-strong team are also well placed in the individual rankings, Andrew Blatt ranked in Band 2, and Robert Forman, as Star Associate for the third year running.

Chambers say the following :

What the team is known for Niche team specialising in solicitors’ professional discipline, acting exclusively in the defence of solicitors. Particular expertise in SDT proceedings, SRA forensic investigations and voluntary practice closures. Experienced in providing advice on interventions and appeals.

Strengths Clients state: “They’re very good – easily contactable and responsive.”

Notable practitioners

Andrew Blatt frequently advises practitioners on SRA interventions, including handling voluntary practice closures. Clients say: “He’s very experienced, highly knowledgeable and empathetic.”

Robert Forman specialises in defending solicitors in SDT proceedings and SRA investigations. Clients state: “He has a very impressive forensic ability to go through the evidence, and is obviously a specialist in what he does.”

To discuss an issue with us in confidence, please telephone Andrew Blatt on 07973 752498, or Robert Forman on 07976 562236

Murdochs Solicitors maintains Legal 500 ranking as a leading firm in Professional Discipline

Legal 500’s 2017 publication says the following about us :

Murdochs Solicitors provides ‘reliable, detailed, and robust advice’ in defending solicitors and other legal professionals facing investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The practice’s experience extends to acting in voluntary practice closures, appeals to the Administrative Court, and compliance audits. The ‘authoritative’, ‘steadfast’, and ‘proactive’ Andrew Blatt leads the team, which includes Robert Forman (who is noted for his ‘superb acumen and industry knowledge’, ‘excellent communication skills’ and ‘tailored advice’) and Nicholas Trevette.

To discuss any professional discipline matter in confidence with us, please telephone Andrew Blatt on 07973 752498, or Robert Forman on 07976 562236

Law Society Gazette reports SDT case in which Robert Forman appears

Law Society Gazette reports SDT case in which Robert Forman appears

SRA v Kadurugamuwa [2017] EWHC 2245 (Admin) : SRA appeal dismissed by the Administrative Court

Robert Forman in our professional discipline team acted for the Respondent solicitor in this appeal heard before Lord Justice Simon and Mrs Justice McGowan in the Administrative Court yesterday, 11th July 2017. The SRA’s appeal against the order of the SDT was successfully resisted. The court dismissed the SRA’s appeal, and refused the regulator permission for a further appeal. The SRA was ordered to pay the Respondent’s costs as summarily assessed. Tim Kendal of counsel of 2 Bedford Row appeared for the Respondent. An update will be published on approval of the judgment.

Murdochs wins award for Most Oustanding Professional Discipline Law Firm

Murdochs’ three-strong professional discipline & regulation team, Andrew Blatt, Robert Forman and Nick Trevette have been recognised in the Acquisition International Excellence Awards 2016, winning the award, ‘Most Outstanding Professional Discipline Law Firm’. Murdochs’ team specialises in disciplinary and regulatory issues faced by solicitors, its core work involving, the representation of solicitors in Solicitors Regulation Authority investigations and proceedings at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. To discuss a matter with one of the team, please contact Robert Forman on 020 8852 3412 or Andrew Blatt on 020 8530 7291.

murdochs-winners-certificate

 

Murdochs ranked in Chambers UK 2017 for Professional Discipline

Murdochs’ three-strong Professional Discipline team has maintained its ranking in Chambers & Partners UK 2017. This is what Chambers has to say about us :

What the team is known for Niche team specialising in solicitors’ professional discipline, acting exclusively in the defence of solicitors. Particular expertise in SDT proceedings, SRA forensic investigations and voluntary practice closures.

Strengths

“You’d think I was their only client, so quick was their turnaround. In terms of meticulousness, efficiency and compassion, I can’t speak highly enough of them.”

“They were absolutely wonderful; delightfully dedicated and very good lawyers who make you feel like you’re the only client that matters.”

Notable practitioners

Andrew Blatt has particular expertise in managing voluntary practice closures, as part of a broad solicitor-focused practice. He earns praise from clients for his “professional, supportive and thorough” approach.

Robert Forman‘s practice is focused on defending solicitors in SDT proceedings. One client notes: “It is clear that tribunal members respond positively to his well thought-out and clearly presented arguments. In what was a very difficult time, it was reassuring to know that my case was being dealt with by an expert in this field.”

If you have a professional discipline issue that you’d like to discuss in confidence, please telephone Andrew Blatt on 020 8530 7291 or Robert Forman on 020 8852 3412.

SRA Warning to the Profession – Disciplinary risk to solicitors acting in high-yield investment schemes

The SRA has today issued a repeat warning about solicitors acting in high-yield investment schemes. http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/press/investment-schemes-warning-notice-2016.page?src=rss

That the SRA have today felt it necessary to repeat a warning given in 2013 is indicative that law firms’ involvement in such schemes remains problematic, and that more than just a handful of firms are involved. Of course not every high-yield investment scheme is suspicious, but with the warnings given, solicitors and other legal professionals need to be extremely cautious when instructed to act.

The SRA is usually made aware of suspicious schemes following a complaint from an investor who has lost money. Typically the solicitor won’t have acted for the investor but the promoter of the scheme. As the SRA notice indicates, warning investors that you don’t act for them won’t be sufficient to protect your regulatory position. From a regulatory and disciplinary perspective, the solicitor will be expected to ensure :-

1 That they are acting within their specialist field of practice. Fraudsters may target their existing network of solicitors, and ease them into involvement in such schemes, on the back of legitimate instructions;

2 That they fully understand the investment scheme. Fraudulent schemes often make no sense, use jargon and are unnecessarily complex – sometimes solicitors convince themselves that as their involvement is minimal they need not understand it fully; and

3 That the returns are realistic. The old adage ‘if it looks too good to be true it probably is’ is a good indicator.

Solicitors involvement in such schemes gives assurance to investors, and fraudsters know this. We’ve seen cases where fraudsters have provided legitimate instructions to a solicitor over many years before being asked, unwittingly, to assist with a fraudulent investment scheme. The solicitor thinks he can trust his longstanding client, perhaps agreeing a limited retainer to ‘facilitate’ a deal. Often the promoter client then indicates that certain investors will only invest if they can pay the investment into a solicitors client account. Tight timeframes may add to the pressure on the solicitor to agree, ‘we need the money today or the deal could collapse’. Aside from direct involvement in the scheme, by allowing client account to be used, the solicitor may have breached rule 14.5 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 which prohibits the use of client account for banking facilities.

It is a real concern that solicitors continue to involve themselves in such schemes. Such involvement undermines the reputation of the profession and therefore our role as administrators of the rule of law. Your involvement runs a number of risks :-

1 It may result in you being financially liable to the investors and to HM Treasury/the SRA for regulatory/disciplinary fines and costs. Any financial exposure to investors may not be covered by professional indemnity insurance; disciplinary fines and costs certainly won’t be.

2 You may expose your firm to catastrophic failure, either by intervention or a failure to obtain insurance in the next indemnity round.

3 You may expose your firm to a full Forensic Investigation.

4 You could be expelled from partnership/have your employment terminated.

5 You could be suspended or struck off from the roll of solicitors for your involvement.

If you are asked to act in any investment scheme, ask yourself why me? Make sure you fully understand the scheme and your expected role and then discuss them with a colleague and perhaps your COLP. If you’re currently involved and need to review your position it’s important to seek advice from a professional discipline solicitor at an early stage.

Robert Forman is a Senior Consultant Solicitor at Murdochs Solicitors, specialising in solicitors professional discipline and regulation. He can be contacted on 020 8852 3412.

Robert Forman’s latest case before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in today’s Law Society Gazette

Robert Forman’s latest case before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal reported in

Murdochs wins Solicitors’ Discipline & Regulation award in Global Awards 2016

Corporate LiveWire GlobalAwards 2016

Murdochs have been announced as winners of the Solicitors’ Discipline & Regulation award in Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards 2016. Murdochs’ three-strong professional discipline & regulation team, Andrew Blatt, Robert Forman and Nick Trevette specialise in disciplinary and regulatory issues faced by solicitors, its core work involving, the representation of solicitors in Solicitors Regulation Authority investigations and proceedings at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. To discuss a matter with one of the team, please contact Robert Forman on 020 8852 3412 or Andrew Blatt on 020 8530 7291.

The award hosts have issued the following press release.

United Kingdom – 18th May 2016 – Today marks the highly anticipated publication of Corporate LiveWire’s 2016 Global Awards’ Winners Guide.

The Corporate LiveWire Global Awards recognise individuals and companies in the corporate finance sector that have demonstrated great achievements in the past 12 months.  The Global Awards also identify those who have achieved something special in the finance arena not only for their size in the global economy but also for their involvement in financial developments around the world.

Jake Powers, Award Director of the 2016 Global Winners Guide is elated with the stature of this year’s winners. Commenting on the vigorous level of competition this year, Jake said: “It is great to see how the financial sector is improving around the world. I can see many individuals and companies that have overcome the economic challenges to really stand on top. To win a Corporate LiveWire Global Award is an achievement to be proud of and I wish the winners continued success”.

Like with all of the Corporate LiveWire Award winners, each individual and company had been put under great scrutiny by the Judging Panel at Corporate LiveWire, setting its sights firmly on the most client-focused and dedicated teams and individuals. Each winner was handpicked based on merit and has shown excellence, great performance and dedication over the course of the year.

This year’s winners include Shell, PwC, Ernst & Young, Norton Rose Fulbright and Latham & Watkins.

The full winners guide can be found at: http://www.corporatelivewire.com/awards.html?award=89

For more information on the awards or to vote in Corporate LiveWire’s upcoming award programs please click here.

About Corporate LiveWire

Corporate LiveWire is brought to you by Fenice Media Ltd., a publishing house with an international presence. Fenice Media aim to offer a number of platforms for connecting its clients with an exclusive, global audience.  The core products offer daily-updated content along with regular magazine publications that can be viewed on all digital platforms.

Contact:

Jake Powers
Corporate LiveWire
+44 (0) 121 270 8462
www.corporatelivewire.com
jake@corporatelivewire.com

Murdochs Solicitors winners of ‘UK – PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE & REGULATION LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR’

Murdochs’ three-strong professional discipline & regulation team, Andrew Blatt, Robert Forman and Nick Trevette have been recognised in the ACQ5 Law Awards 2016, winning the award, ‘UK – Professional Discipline & Regulation Law Firm of the Year’. Murdochs’ team specialises in disciplinary and regulatory issues faced by solicitors, its core work involving, the representation of solicitors in Solicitors Regulation Authority investigations and proceedings at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. To discuss a matter with one of the team, please contact Robert Forman on 020 8852 3412 or Andrew Blatt on 020 8530 7291.

ACQ have issued the following press release.

ACQ5

London, April, 2016 – ACQ, a premier global corporate magazine, is proud to release the results of its ACQ Law Awards 2016 sponsored by widza.com, taking the ultimate step in the search for the most outstanding law firms, practice areas and individual / firm-wide professionals within the public & private sectors across the globe.

Since 2008, the ACQ Law Awards have been celebrating achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards. A strong claim, but ACQ really is different to other publications. Very few can truly boast the heritage and reputation of ACQ.

ACQ operates a legitimately independent nomination process. Importantly, our award winners are chosen by our readership.

Every year, we seek their assistance in recognising industry leaders, eminent individuals, exemplary teams and distinguished firms, which we believe represent the benchmark of achievement and best practice in a variety of fields – and every year, we turn to our readers to help as we strive to recognise an ever-widening spectrum of services, markets, industries and organisations that the sector serves.

ACQ Law Awards’ Objective: To gather quantitative and qualitative information from and about the legal sector to be able to give a set of “Best of” awards. We founded the ACQ Law Awards program to empower end users to make smarter, more confident legal decisions.

Exceptional individuals, teams and firms across the marketplace represent the very best in their field from around the world and truly deserve the accolade of being an ACQ Law Award winner.” said Jake Robson, Editor in Chief of ACQ. “The legal sector contributes billions in currency to the global economy, much of which is derived from exports. The ACQ Law Award categories have been carefully chosen to reflect the variety of work undertaken by business lawyers working at law firms and in company legal departments. There are also a series of awards designed to reflect the wider contribution law firms and legal department make to the community, including Diversity and CSR. All category winners are in effect, a brand. In one sense, perhaps the most important sense, a brand is a promise. You know what you’re going to get with a well-branded product or service. It takes a lot of time, money and very hard work to build and maintain great brands, brands that can speak volumes in just a few syllables. It’s shorthand for what you are.

All category winners in the ACQ Law Awards 2016 represent this ethos and this year, our dedicated subscribers have once again recognised the genuine leaders in the market. The quality of this year’s entries is astonishingly high and a testament to the fact that the profession continues to innovate and deliver high-quality services”

The marketplace is continually changing with increasing external pressure and competition. It is good to see that all ACQ Law Awards 2016 winners are showing no signs of complacency. Far from it, each year, nominations show that the market continues to spearhead solutions that allow it to stay at the top of the game.

Voting closed on Monday 30th November 2015. The total number of nominations received stood at an amazing 28,641 representing a 22.4% response rate. (Our highest ever for our Law Award program). In judging these awards we have studied the nominations made by our voters and recognise that all of those nominated are leaders in their fields but the exceptional performances of some deserve recognition.

On behalf of ACQ, I personally would like to thank our sponsors for contributing to the success of these awards and encourage all in the marketplace, whether its businesses large or small, individuals in niche sectors or the genuine icons of the “game” to continue to pioneer and nurture new talent.

Jake Robson

Editor in Chief, ACQ

*There is sufficient evidence to suggest that certain “recently born” publications are using “questionable” methods to generate commercial revenues through publication award programs.

Murdochs Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA number 52683. The professional rules governing our lawyers can be found at rules.sra.org.uk. Copyright © 2011, Murdochs.