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Ten struck off in 2017, SSDT annual report reveals
Ten solicitors were struck off the roll in 2017 for professional misconduct, according to the latest annual report from the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal, published today.
The Tribunal heard and made decisions on 30 cases in 2017. There were 21 findings of professional misconduct and one decision under s 53(1)(b) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 (solicitor convicted of dishonesty). Three solicitors were found not guilty and two complaints were withdrawn or dismissed. One appeal was allowed and two appeals were withdrawn or dismissed.
Other disposals included censure (20% of cases), censure and fine (24%) and censure with having the solicitor's practising certificate restricted for a period of time (16%). Compensation was awarded in four cases. Two appeals from the tribunal to the Court of Session were refused.
The main grounds of misconduct included failure to comply with the accounts rules and/or practice rules, dishonesty, and failure to reply to the Law Society of Scotland and/or clients.
The chairman, Nicholas Whyte, writes in the report that a recruitment exercise is to take place for both solicitor and non-solicitor members, adding: "We recognise the benefits of a diverse and gender-balanced tribunal and hope that solicitors who might not previously have thought of becoming members of the tribunal, consider serving their profession in this way in the future. A strong tribunal protects the public from harm and maintains public confidence in the legal profession."
Click here to access the report.