SDT specialist, The importance of instructing an SRA and SDT specialist

Solicitors investigated or prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority may be tempted to self-represent or rely on that trusted colleague for pro-bono representation, but as their career and reputation are at stake this is likely to be a false economy.

SDT specialist

A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal specialist understands the nuances of professional discipline, a unique field quite separate in approach, for example, from criminal or private civil dispute resolution proceedings.

At Murdochs Solicitors, we have a specialist Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal team recognised as national leaders in their field by Chambers & Partners UK and the Legal 500. As leading specialists in this field we have many years’ experience defending solicitors in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and know when the Tribunal can be persuaded, and when it is better to admit and mitigate.

Recent cases

Recently we have;

  • Represented two solicitors in separate proceedings, both of whom were found to have acted dishonestly, but upon submissions to the SDT, were entitled to remain in practice;
  • Represented a large personal injury firm in the North West, defeating the SRA’s claims to the SDT that the Principal had acted dishonestly;
  • Represented a solicitor in SDT proceedings, alleged to have acted dishonestly. Upon procuring expert evidence of mental ill health, the solicitor defended the proceedings resulting in an Agreed Outcome whereby the SRA withdrew the allegation of dishonesty and the solicitor was entitled to remain in practice;
  • Represented a partner of a leading firm in an investigation concerning his use of word deemed inappropriate when engaging with his institutional client;
  • Represented a solicitor in the Administrative Court, and Court of Appeal upon successive appeals by the SRA against a decision of the SDT. Both appeals were successfully defended with costs ordered against the SRA; and
  • Represented a solicitor following a serious breach of the SRA Accounts Rules. Following our forensic investigation of the accounting evidence, we were able to demonstrate to the SDT that the firm’s accountants were primarily culpable, resulting in a lower end sanction for the Equity Partner prosecuted.

Why choose us?

With our experience, we believe that we achieve results second to none. We can cite many examples of early advice and representation resulting in the Solicitors Regulation Authority closing their investigation, withdrawing issued proceedings before the SDT or reaching terms of settlement through a Regulatory Settlement Agreement or Agreed Outcome.

Appearing regularly before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal we have an intrinsic understanding of the nature of the Tribunal panel, the approach they take to decision making and therefore we are well placed to ensure that your defence is properly understood.

Appearing regularly for Respondents to SRA prosecutions, our opinions on the merits of allegations are taken seriously and where allegations ought to be withdrawn, often we are able to reach agreement with the prosecutor.

The consequences of investigations and proceedings

The outcomes of SRA investigations and SDT proceedings are not isolated in nature. They are likely to impact upon not only your ability to practise, but additionally, your insurance coverage, your finances, your reputation and your relationship with your firm. As specialists in solicitors’ professional discipline and regulation we understand the wider context of disciplinary investigations and proceedings, advising on issues relating to Practising Certificates, Indemnity Insurance Coverage Investigations, Partnership, LLP & corporate issues, Employment Law ramifications and Costs in Regulatory Proceedings.

To discuss your case, in confidence, with one of our specialist professional disciplinary team, please e-mail robert.forman@murdochslaw.co.uk or telephone him on 07976 562236.