Firm ref: 517894
Sol ref: 418173
Our ref: TRI/3393-2010
REGULATORY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
1. Ms Lydia Amanuel agrees to the following outcome of the investigation into his professional conduct under reference TRI/3393-2010.
2. Lydia Amanuel was admitted as a solicitor on 15 April 2009 and her name remains on the roll of solicitors.
3. At all material times Ms Amanuel was a Member of Macintyre Clarke LLP (the firm) of 17a-19 Harcourt Street, London.
4. On 24 March 2010 the SRA commenced an inspection of the firm's books of account carried out by an investigation officer of the SRA.
5. The Investigation Officer produced a report dated 13 August 2010 (the report) arising from the inspection.
6. The report identified irregularities in a number of areas. Those matters involving Ms Amanuel are mainly in relation to breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 by the firm.
7. Ms Amanuel makes and the SRA accepts the following admissions:-
- She failed to maintain proper books of account contrary to Rule 32 of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules 1998;
- She paid, or permitted payment, into office account monies which should have been paid into client account in breach of Rule 15 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998;
- She paid, or permitted payment into office account of monies received from clients which were described as “agreed fees” when in fact they were not so, contrary to Rule 19 of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998;
- She has allowed MacIntyre Clarke LLP to operate as a firm without having in place professional indemnity insurance contrary to Rule 4.1 of the Solicitors’ Indemnity Insurance Rules 2007 and Rule 5.01 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007.
8. Ms Amanuel was admitted to the Roll in April 2009, initially undertaking agency criminal work before becoming a member of MacIntyre Clark some five months after qualification in September 2009 and resigning from that position in July 2010.
9. In reality, although Ms Amanuel was a member of MacIntyre Clark, Mr Boulton “ran” the firm. During the investigation, there was no evidence that Ms Amanuel made any of the decisions in the firm and Ms Amanuel states that Mr Boulton advised her that he would be responsible for all of the administration of the firm. Furthermore, Ms Amanuel will say that whilst being a member of the firm her knowledge of exactly what was going on within the firm was extremely limited.
10. Ms Amanuel agrees that she showed extraordinary naivety in not only agreeing to be a member of the firm on the basis that she did, but also in placing an over-reliance on assurances provided to her.
11. Ms Amanuel is reprimanded for the admitted breaches identified in paragraph 7 above.
12. Ms Amanuel agrees that this outcome will be published by the SRA and may be disclosed by the SRA as they see fit.
13. Ms Amanuel agrees that she will not act in any way inconsistent with the agreement by, for example, denying the misconduct identified in paragraph 7 above.
14. If Ms Amanuel acts in any way inconsistent with this agreement, all issues may be referred for consideration or referral of his conduct to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (or SRA internal decision) on the original facts and allegations and also on the basis that such failure to comply with this agreement may constitute a breach of Rules 1.2, 1.3 and 1.6 of the Solicitors’ Code of Conduct 2007.
15. Ms Amanuel agrees to pay a contribution towards SRA costs in the sum of £2,500 within 28 days of the date of notification of such costs by the SRA.
16. The date of this agreement is 03 January 2012
Head of Legal Policy
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Solicitors Regulation Authority