Firm ref: 419659
Sol ref: 119670
Our ref: TRI/2948-2009/SD
A Former Partner in Crust, Lane & Davis LLP
REGULATORY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
1. Mr Marcus Selmon agrees to the following outcome of the investigation into his professional conduct under reference TRI/2948-2009/SD
2. An agreement between Crust, Lane & Davis LLP (the Firm) and Easymove Limited (Easymove) had been in existence since early 2001. Easymove were referred conveyancing cases, from a variety of sources, and in turn referred them to the Firm. In return the firm paid the sources who referred matters to Easymove a referral fee of between £100-£150 per case.
3. When the Firm concluded the conveyancing they would bill the client on behalf of Easymove. When the client paid the monies to the Firm, the Firm would retain their entitlement and send the balance to Easymove.
4. The Firm and Capital Conveyancing Limited (CCL) entered into an agreement for the referral of work on 10 January 2006. CCL were referred cases from a variety of sources including, Griffin Estate Agents, and would in turn refer them on to the Firm.
5. When the Firm concluded the conveyancing they would bill the client £395 + VAT on behalf of CCL. CCL stated that its fee was £100 + VAT, whereas in reality it received 85% of the total sum billed. When the client paid the monies to the Firm, the Firm would retain it entitlement and send the balance to CCL.
6. Where clients were referred to the Firm by Easymove or CCL and required property searches the Firm referred them to Easymove, who in turn, referred them to Onesearch. Onesearch would carry out a search and bill Easymove, who in turn would charge the client almost double the amount it paid for the search to the client.
7. When the Firm concluded the conveyancing they would bill the client on behalf of CCL. When the client paid the monies to the firm, the firm would retain their share and send the rest to CCL.
8. Mr Selmon admits that he failed to fully comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Introduction and Referral Code, and paid referral fees before they were permitted by the code.
9. Mr Selmon also admits that he failed to act in the bests interest of his clients by paying referrals fee using client’s monies, acted in circumstances where his own interests conflicted with those of his clients, acted in a manner likely to compromise his independence and integrity and acted in a manner likely to compromise the good repute of the solicitors’ profession.
10. Mr Selmon is severely reprimanded.
11. Mr Selmon will agree to pay the costs of the SRA in the sum of £3,000.00
12. This Regulatory Settlement Agreement will be published by the SRA and may be disclosed by the SRA as they see fit.
13. Mr Selmon agrees and undertakes that he will not act in any way inconsistent with this agreement such as, for example, by denying the misconduct set out in this admission.
Head of Legal Policy
Solicitors Regulation Authority