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The conviction of a solicitor and his practice manager on fraud charges is bad enough.

But what's worse is that the practice manager seems to have been able to get into positions of trust despite a demonstrably untrustworthy history.

FCRO Subsection: 

A solicitor (attorney) who was advising a company on a proposed purchase of a large stake in another company has been accused of using non-public information to make share transactions and profit therefrom.

BIScom Subsection: 

The Solicitors' Regulatory Authority which regulates solicitors in England and Wales has begun proceedings against a partner of one of the bluest of blue chip firms in London alleging that he failed to undertake adequate due diligence for money laundering risk purposes when taking on two young women as clients. To be clear: this is a prosecution by the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority, not the police. It is a criminal prosecution for failing to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations. This is big stuff.

There is suspicion, belief and knowledge. Then there is wilful blindness and, finally, sheer bloody mindedness aka stupidity. A solicitor was warned that her client should be the subject of proper KYC / CDD and her research showed a clear connection to alleged criminal conduct. She went ahead with the multi-million deal anyway and made no suspicious activity report. The fine might seem small and some would argue she should have been jailed but, as the first solicitor to be prosecuted for this conduct, the importance of the case comes not from the penalty but from the fact that it was brought at all, and that it was successful.

It would be easy to think of dozens of bad-taste humorous comments to make about the conduct of Iain Farrimond but to do so would be terribly cruel. The circumstances in which he has found himself are awful but so serious that there can be no alternative to serious punishment.

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The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has published its November 2016 order that MOHAMMED ZAHIR UDDIN, sole director of Your Right Solicitors Limited, be struck off. His failings are legion and, even, disturbing.

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Editorial Staff

There's an interesting story developing in the UK about the making of a grant from local taxpayer's money to a distressed law corporation (it's not a firm, despite the use of the term in the reporting). There are swirls of questions surrounding the entire subject

The Legal Services Board is supposed to be the regulator of regulators for the legal profession in England and Wales. Its leader is not a lawyer and has, therefore, never been in practice. When the Legal Services Board wanted a review of "The Cab Rank Rule," they turned to a couple of academics and told them to read about it and write about what they found. They were both eminently qualified (not), having written a lot of stuff, read a lot more (quoting a lot of it in the stuff they wrote). Oh, and neither of them had ever held a responsible post in law or, for that matter, outside academia. And it's been a pointless exercise in proving the obvious, says retired solicitor Nigel Morris-Cotterill

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The Law Society of England and Wales long ago began a system of registering those that wanted to demonstrate they met certain criteria. It was a voluntary quality assurance scheme. It was, at the time, seen as a bit of a waste of time by professionals who had extensive experience and new what they were doing, a way for the second rank to gain credibility that they did not, fully, deserve on merit. Gradually, the idea mutated away from a marketing tool to part of regulation and it is now a compulsory registration of specialists in certain areas. The latest to fall under the compulsory requirement is Solicitor-Advocates. And disturbingly, many have not signed up with only days to go.

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