Annual Report 2015
Discipline Tribunals involving solicitors are becoming more complicated and often involve one or more Secondary Complainers who have compensation claims according to the latest Annual Report from the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal.
The Tribunal, which has 12 solicitor and 12 non-solicitor members, heard and made decisions on 40 cases and there were 25 findings of professional misconduct and two decisions under section 53(1)(b) in 2015.
A total of eight solicitors were struck off and can no longer practice. One solicitor was suspended and a further seven had their practising certificates restricted. 11 were censured or censured and fined. Compensation was awarded in five cases.
The main grounds for solicitors’ misconduct (misconduct can be established on more than one ground) included failure to comply with the Accounts Rules and/or Practice Rules (12), failure to comply with other professional obligations (10) and failure to reply to the Law Society and / or clients (5). There were four cases involving dishonesty.
Of the cases brought to the SSDT by the Law Society, there were three solicitors found not guilty whose cases were remitted to the Law Society for consideration as to whether there had been unsatisfactory professional conduct. Two complaints were withdrawn or dismissed.
The SSDT also produced new guidance for Secondary Complainers in relation to their compensation claims which can be found along with other guidance on the Tribunal’s website which has been redesigned and was launched on 14 September 2015.
The report can be read on the SSDT website: Annual Report 2015.
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