This outcome was reached
by SRA decision.
IN THE MATTER OF ALAN MICHAEL CLARKE
A person who is or was involved in legal practice but is not a solicitor
SECTION 43 OF THE SOLICITORS ACT 1974 (AS AMENDED)
STATEMENT OF FINDINGS
Admissions by Mr Clarke that he had misappropriated client monies of approximately £688,389.94 in the course of his employment with MacFarlanes LLP.
Mr Clarke had been employed at the Firm since 1987, where he worked as a Property Administrator, managing properties on behalf of the Firm's clients. In this role, he was responsible for receiving and paying out money that belonged to the Firm's clients. He was also responsible for the record keeping and paperwork involved in those transactions, which enabled him to conceal his dishonest actions from the Firm. Mr Clarke admitted that he had forged certain invoices and misappropriated the money for his own purposes, to pay gambling debts. He is facing criminal charges in respect of the matter.
On legal advice, Mr Clarke has filed an affidavit in the High Court in which he makes admissions of dishonesty.
I FIND that Alan Michael Clarke who is or was involved in legal practice but is not a solicitor: has, in the Society’s opinion occasioned or been a party to, with or without the connivance of a solicitor, an act or default in relation to a legal practice which involved conduct on his part of such a nature that in the Society’s opinion it would be undesirable him to be involved in a legal practice in one or more of the ways mentioned in sub-section (1A) of section 43.
I am satisfied that Mr Clarke's admitted dishonesty, carried out over a number of years whilst he was employed, in a position of trust and responsibility, by Macfarlanes LLP, makes him an unsuitable person to be employed in a legal practice.
Pursuant to Section 43(2) of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended) it is ordered that
- (i) no solicitor shall employ or remunerate, in connection with his practice as a solicitor;
- (ii) no employee of a solicitor shall employ or remunerate, in connection with the solicitor’s practice;
- (iii) no recognised body shall employ or remunerate;
- (iv) no manager or employee of a recognised body shall employ or remunerate in connection with the business of that body Alan Michael Clarke, except in accordance with a Society permission.
- (v) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body shall, except in accordance with a Society permission, permit Alan Michael Clarke to be a manager of the body;
- (vi) no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body shall, except in accordance with a Society permission, permit Alan Michael Clarke to have an interest in the body.
Ms SUSAN WEBB
11 October 2011
THIS ORDER IS SUBJECT TO A STATUTORY RIGHT OF REVIEW TO THE SOLICITORS DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL.