Decision - Fined
Outcome date: 8 February 2022
Published date: 17 February 2022
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Oury Clark Solicitors
Address(es): 10 John Street, London, WC1N 2EB.
Firm ID: 266280
Firm or organisation at date of publication
Name: Excello Law Limited
Address(es): 5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LG.
Firm ID: 833800
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
Ashi Patel is a solicitor. At the time of his misconduct in 2019, he worked as a manager at Oury Clark Solicitors whose head office is at 10 John Street, London, WC1N 2EB.
He is currently working as a solicitor at Excello Law Limited whose head office is at 5 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1LG.
It was found that:
- By acting on the instructions of an individual to transfer funds of £180,000 from the client ledger account of corporate client to a third party company Mr Patel failed to act with independence and on the appropriate authority of the directors of the corporate client. As a result, he:
- breached principles 2 and 3 of the SRA Principles 2019
- breached rule 5.1(b) of the SRA Accounts Rules 2019
- By acting on the instructions of an individual to arrange for transfer of funds totalling £180,000 from the client ledger account of a corporate client to a third party company for the purchase of a boat Mr Patel allowed the client bank account of Oury Clark to be used as a banking facility. As a result, he:
- breached Principle 2 of the SRA Principles 2019
- breached rule 3.3 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2019
SRA Accounts Rules 2019
Rule 3.3: You must not use a client account to provide banking facilities to clients or third parties. Payments into, and transfers or withdrawals from a client account must be in respect of the delivery by you of regulated services.
Rule 5.1(b): You only withdraw client money from a client account:
- for the purpose for which it is being held;
- following receipt of instructions from the client, or third party for whom the money is held; or
- on the SRA’s prior written authorisation or in prescribed circumstances.
SRA Principles 2019
Principle 2: You act in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services provided by authorised persons.
Principle 3: You act with independence.
Mr Patel was directed to pay a financial penalty of £1,000 and costs of £1,350.