Solicitor(s): Ivan Alexander Ralph, Solicitor, McEwan Fraser Legal, 130 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh
Tribunal Date: 26/03/2015
Appeal Status:No Appeal
Edinburgh 26 March 2015. The Tribunal having considered the amended Complaints at the instance of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Ivan Alexander Ralph, Solicitor, McEwan Fraser Legal, 130 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh; Find the Respondent guilty of Professional Misconduct individually and in cumulo in respect of the preparation of a power of attorney in connection with Client A in relation to the purchase of a property without obtaining the instructions of the purchasing client; his failure to advise Client A of the fact that another client of his had paid a deposit towards the purchase price of the property; his failure to advise Client A that the proprietor had paid £100,000 less for the property on the same day as it was sold to him; his failure to take his Client A’s instructions regarding the purchase of that property, about the transaction generally and to provide him with a title report containing a summary of the title conditions;his failure to provide Client A with a Terms of Business Letter in breach of Rule 3 of the Solicitors’ (Scotland) (Client Communication) Practice Rules 2005;his failure to properly identify Client A or to obtain an up to date proof of address for him in breach of Regulations 7 and 8 of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007; his failure to discuss the terms of a mandate with Client A; his failure in relation to five transactions to advise the lenders that the selling proprietors had owned the properties for less than six months and thus resulting in his failure to comply with the requirements set out at paragraph 5.1.1 of the CML handbook; his failure in relation to three transactions to advise the lenders that the borrowers did not provide the balance of the purchase price from their own funds resulting in his failure to comply with the requirements set out at paragraph 5.8 of the CML handbook; his failure to act in the best interests of Client A and the lenders in respect of six properties in breach of Articles 2, 5 and 7 of the Code of Conduct for Scottish Solicitors 2002;his failure in relation to four transactions to advise the lenders that the properties had recently been sold for significantly lower prices, being information which the Respondent should reasonably have expected the lenders to consider important in considering whether to lend to the borrowers, resulting in his failure to comply with the requirements set out at paragraph 5.1.2 of the CML handbook;his failure in relation to six transactions to report these matters to the lenders as soon as he became aware of them in terms of the requirements set out at paragraph 2.3 of the CML handbook and his transferring funds in respect of six transactions in breach of his instructions without the necessary authority of his clients, namely the lenders, in breach of Rule 6(1) of the Accounts Rules;Censure the Respondent; Fine him in the sum of £10,000 to be forfeit to Her Majesty; Find the Respondent liable in the expenses of the Complainers and of the Tribunal including expenses of the Clerk, chargeable on a time and line basis as the same may be taxed by the Auditor of the Court of Session on an agent and client, client paying basis in terms of Chapter Three of the last published Law Society’s Table of Fees for general business with a unit rate of £14.00; and Direct that publicity will be deferred until the conclusion of any criminal proceedings regarding the Respondent and Directs thereafter that publicity will be given to this decision and that this publicity should include the name of the Respondent and may but has no need to include the names of anyone other than the Respondent.
On 29 March 2017, the Crown Office confirmed that the Tribunal could publish its decision. It was therefore agreed at a Tribunal on 21 April 2017 that this decision could be published.
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