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Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal

14 April 14

Report relating to Alistair George Kay

Four complaints were made by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Alistair George Kay, solicitor, Portlethen, Aberdeen. The Tribunal found the respondent guilty of professional misconduct in respect of his repeated failure to respond timeously, openly and accurately to reasonable enquiries made of him, and statutory notices served upon him, by the Society; his breach of rule 6 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Professional Indemnity Insurance Rules 2005; his failure to respond timeously, openly and accurately to reasonable enquiries made of him by the Master Policy insurers; his breach of rules 4, 8, 9 and 10 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Accounts etc Rules 2001; his false declarations made in five separate accounts certificates; his failure to sign and return the application for confirmation and other papers sent to him by Messrs Andersonbain & Co and his failure to respond timeously to reasonable enquiries made of him by Messrs Andersonbain & Co. The Tribunal also directed that orders be issued under s 53C(2) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980.

The Tribunal ordered that the respondent’s name be struck off the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland.

The respondent did not lodge answers or take part in the Tribunal proceedings. The Society led evidence by way of affidavit and the Tribunal found the facts proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The Tribunal had before it an extensive catalogue of behaviour: two cases of a complete failure to respond to Society correspondence and statutory notices; a failure to respond to correspondence from Master Policy insurers; a failure to respond to correspondence from another firm of solicitors; a failure to pay the respondent’s insurance excess; a failure to keep proper accounting records for a period of some three years; false declarations in five accounts certificates; and a failure by the respondent to complete the appropriate paperwork to allow a new executor to be appointed, which led to the necessity of a court action being raised to allow the executry to be properly dealt with. This was clearly conduct that fell well below the standard to be expected of a competent and reputable solicitor, and that could only be described as serious and reprehensible. Accordingly, the Tribunal found the respondent guilty of professional misconduct.

The false declarations made in the accounts certificates were deliberate and considered acts of dishonesty carried out over a period of two years. The respondent’s conduct was an ongoing course of conduct that covered a period in excess of four years. It clearly presented a danger to the public, a clear example of that being the effect of his conduct on the executry of Ms A. The respondent’s conduct was extremely likely to seriously damage the reputation of the legal profession. His complete failure to co-operate with his professional body could be seriously detrimental to the public trust in solicitors. The way the respondent had failed to respond to these matters as they each arose demonstrated a lack both of remorse and of insight into the consequences of his conduct.

The only conclusion that the Tribunal felt that it could reach was that the name of the respondent should be struck from the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland.

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