Maher, Craig Emerson—137347

Decisions

To view the decision against this individual, click the decision below.

Prosecution—8 December 2015


Decision - prosecution

Outcome: Referral to Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Outcome date: 8 December 2015

Published date: 9 October 2017

Firm details

Firm or organisation at date of publication and at time of matters giving rise to outcome

Name: Thompson & Cooke Limited

Address(es):12 Stamford Street, Stalybridge, Cheshire, SK15 1LA

Firm ID: 566527

Outcome details

This outcome was reached by SRA decision.

Reasons/basis

This notification relates to a Decision to prosecute before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is an independent Tribunal which will reach its own decision after considering all the evidence, including any evidence put forward by the Solicitor. The Tribunal has certified that there is a case to answer in respect of allegations which are or include that he:

1. While in practice as a Partner at and/or a Director of Thompson & Cooke Limited (“the Firm”), and while acting or preparing to act for an offshore client entity (“Client C”), between approximately May 2012 and October 2013 (“the Relevant Period”):

1.1. Caused or allowed funds to be paid into and to pass through the Firm’s Client Account to Client C (“the Client C Payments”), in circumstances where:

1.1.1. the Client C Payments were not payments, transfers or withdrawals in respect of instructions relating to an underlying legal transaction(s) and/or the funds arising therefrom;

1.1.2.     the Client C Payments were not payments, transfers or withdrawals in respect of a service forming part of the First Respondent’s and/or the Firm’s normal regulated activities;

1.1.3. work undertaken by him and/or the Firm in relation to Client C was essentially administrative in nature;

1.1.4. no legal services were provided to Client C such as would justify the use of the Firm’s Client Account to receive, hold or disburse the Client C Payments; and in doing so he breached all or any of Rule 14.5 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and Principles 2, 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011.

1.2. Caused or allowed funds to be paid into and to pass through the Firm’s Client Account to third parties ("the Third Party Payments") in circumstances where:

1.2.1. the Third Party Payments were not payments, transfers or withdrawals in respect of instructions relating to an underlying legal transaction(s) and/or the funds arising there from;

1.2.2.    the Third Party Payments were not payments, transfers or withdrawals in respect of a service forming part of his and/or the Firm’s normal regulated activities;

1.2.3.  work undertaken by him and/or the Firm in relation to Client C was essentially administrative in nature;

1.2.4.  no legal services were provided to Client C such as would justify the use of the Firm’s Client Account to receive, hold or disburse the Third Party Payments; and in doing so he breached all or any of Rule 14.5 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 and Principles 2, 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011.

1.3. Failed to conduct adequate checks and/or due diligence in relation to the transactions referred to at 1.1 and/or 1.2 above, before authorising and/or processing the same;

1.4. Failed to conduct adequate checks and/or due diligence in respect of Client C, particularly (but without limitation) as to its owner(s) and/or instructing officer(s):

1.4.1. before accepting instructions;

1.4.2. during the Relevant Period; and in doing so he breached all or any of Outcomes 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2011 and Principles 2, 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011.

1.5. Involved himself and the Firm in:

1.5.1. an overseas investment scheme which was, and/or international transactions which were, out with his area of expertise and experience;

1.5.2. an investment scheme and/or transactions in respect of which there was no, or no legitimate need for the involvement of solicitors;

1.5.3. a dubious investment scheme and/or dubious transactions, having taken no, or inadequate steps to satisfy himself as to the legitimacy and bona fides of the scheme and/or the transactions in which he was involving himself and the Firm;

and in doing so he breached of all or any of Outcomes 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2011 and Principles 2, 3, 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011.

The allegations are subject to a Hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and are as yet unproven.

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