Decision - Agreement
Outcome: Regulatory settlement agreement
Outcome date: 2 March 2022
Published date: 4 March 2022
Firm or organisation at date of publication and at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Viking Law Ltd
Address(es): Basepoint, Metcalf Way, CRAWLEY, RH11 7XX, England
Firm ID: 569282
This outcome was reached by agreement.
1. Agreed outcome
1.1 Mr Randall, a solicitor, agrees to the following outcome to the investigation of his conduct by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA):
- he is rebuked
- Mkiuto the publication of this agreement
- he will pay the costs of the investigation of £300.
2. Summary of Facts
2.1 On 6 May 2021, Mr Randall was charged with the offence of driving a motor vehicle with an alcohol level above the prescribed limit.
2.2 On 20 May 2021 at Crawley Magistrates Court, Mr Randall pleaded guilty and received the following sentence:
- disqualification from driving for 12 months to be reduced by 3 months on completion of a course approved by the secretary of state;
- a fine of £307; and
- £34 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
2.3 Mr Randall notified the SRA on 1 June 2021.
3.1 Mr Randall makes the following admissions which the SRA accepts:
- by virtue of his conduct and conviction , he failed to behave in a way which upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors' profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons in breach of Principle 2 of the SRA Principles.
4. Why a written rebuke is an appropriate outcome
4.1 The SRA’s Enforcement Strategy sets out its approach to the use of its enforcement powers where there has been a failure to meet its standards or requirements. Its topic guide for driving with excess alcohol conviction also provides insight on the approach to enforcement and indicative sanctions guidelines.
4.2 When considering the appropriate sanctions and controls in this matter, the SRA has taken into account the admissions made by Mr Randall and the following mitigation which he has put forward:
- this is an isolated incident as he has no previous convictions for this type of offence
- there was no harm caused to any people or property
- he promptly reported his conviction and he has cooperated fully with the SRA’s investigation.
- he has expressed insight and remorse for his conduct.
- he paid his fine of £307, £34 victim surcharge and £85 costs in full on 4 June 2021.
- he successfully completed the driving course on 29 September 2021.
4.3 The SRA considers that a written rebuke is the appropriate outcome because:
- there was a disregard to the risk of harm and his regulatory obligations
- a public sanction is required to uphold public confidence in the delivery of legal services.
5.1 The SRA considers it appropriate that this agreement is published in the interests of transparency in the regulatory and disciplinary process. Mr Randall agrees to the publication of this agreement.
6. Acting in a way which is inconsistent with this agreement
6.1 Mr Randall agrees that he will not deny the admissions made in this agreement or act in any way which is inconsistent with it.
6.2 If Mr Randall denies the admissions or acts in a way which is inconsistent with this agreement, the conduct which is subject to this agreement may be considered further by the SRA. That may result in a disciplinary outcome or a referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on the original facts and allegations.
6.3 Denying the admissions made or acting in a way which is inconsistent with this agreement may also constitute a separate breach of principles 2 and 5 of the Principles and paragraph 7.3 of the Code of Conduct for Solicitors, RELs and RFLs.
7.1 Mr Randall agrees to pay the costs of the SRA's investigation in the sum of £300. Such costs are due within 28 days of a statement of costs due being issued by the SRA.