Decision - Fined
Outcome date: 6 August 2020
Published date: 27 November 2020
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: No 1 Solicitors Limited
Address(es): 9 Queen Street, Oldham, Lancashire, OL1 1UD
Firm ID: 607698
Firm or organisation at date of publication
Name: Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
Address(es): Waterview Park, Mandarin Way, Washington, NE38 8QU
Firm ID: N/A
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
Nasima Islam is a solicitor and was a manager of No.1 Solicitors Limited between 12 May 2019 and 9 August 2019 when the SRA intervened into the firm. She was the firm’s sole manager and its compliance officer for legal practice and for finance and administration at the time of intervention. The firm’s head office was at 9 Queen Street, Oldham.
The following findings were made against Mrs Islam:
She failed to effectively and properly take charge of the firm after 18 June 2019 when the firm’s other manager and its majority shareholder, Mr Kabir, was struck off the roll of solicitors. Her conduct in this regard breached the Principles and failed to achieve the outcomes set out below.
Principle 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 – this required Mrs Islam to behave in a way that maintains the public’s trust in her and the provision of legal services.
Principle 8 of the SRA Principles 2011 - this required Mrs Islam to run her business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles.
Outcome 7.2 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 – this required Mrs Islam to effective systems and controls in place to achieve and comply with all the Principles, rules and outcomes and other requirements of the SRA Handbook 2012.
Outcome 7.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 – this required Mrs Islam to identify, monitor and manage risks to compliance with all the Principles, rules and outcomes and other requirements of the SRA Handbook 2012 and to take steps to address issues identified.
- She breached rule 8.5 (c) of the SRA Authorisation Rules 2011 because she failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that she complied with Principles 6 and 8 of the SRA Principles 2011 and outcomes 7.2 and 7.3 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.
- She failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that she and the firm complied with their obligations under rule 29.1 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 to keep accounting records properly written up at all times.
- Mr Kabir retained some degree of control over the firm between the date of his strike off and the date of intervention. By failing to prevent this, Mrs Islam breached Principle 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.
- Mrs Islam failed to take sufficient steps to ensure that informed client consent was obtained before £13,948.68 of client money together with the accompanying client files, were transferred to an unregulated firm providing family law services. Her conduct breached Principles 4 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011 which required her to protect client money and to act in the best interests of each client.
Mrs Islam was ordered to pay a £2,000 financial penalty.