Decision - Sanction
Outcome date: 4 November 2021
Published date: 30 November 2021
No detail provided:
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
1. Agreed outcome
1.1 Rhodri Huw Griffiths, a solicitor, agrees to the following outcome to the investigation of his conduct by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA):
- he is rebuked
- to the publication of this agreement
- he will pay the costs of the investigation of £300.
2. Summary of Facts
2.1 On 21 December 2020, Mr Griffiths was charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
2.2 On 21 January 2021 Mr Griffiths pleaded guilty and was convicted of the offence.
2.3 The sentence was:
- disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license for 14 months (reduced by 14 weeks if Mr Griffiths completed a course approved by the Secretary of State), and
- a fine of £800.
2.4 Mr Griffiths was also ordered to pay:
- costs of £85, and
- a victim surcharge in the sum of £80.
2.5 Dyfed-Powys Police notified the SRA of his conviction on 16 February 2021.
3.1 Mr Griffiths admits and the SRA accepts that by virtue of his conduct and conviction he failed to behave in a way that upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors’ profession and in legal services, in breach of Principle 2 of the SRA Principles 2019.
4. Why a written rebuke is an appropriate outcome
4.1 The SRA’s Enforcement Strategy and its topic guide on driving with excess alcohol convictions sets out its approach to the use of its enforcement powers where there has been a failure to meet its standards or requirements.
4.2 When considering the appropriate sanctions and controls in this matter, the SRA has taken into account the admissions made by Mr Griffiths and the following mitigation which he has put forward:
- he has shown insight into his conduct and expressed remorse for his actions
- he is due to attend the course approved by the Secretary of State
- no harm was caused to any persons or property as a result of his actions
- this was an isolated incident.
4.3 The SRA considers that a written rebuke is the appropriate outcome because:
- the conduct was reckless as to the potential risk of harm to others
- a public sanction is required in order to uphold public confidence in the delivery of legal services
- it creates a credible deterrent to Mr Griffiths and others.
5.1 The SRA considers it appropriate that this agreement is published in the interests of transparency in the regulatory and disciplinary process. Mr Griffiths agrees to the publication of this agreement.
6. Acting in a way which is inconsistent with this agreement
6.1 Mr Griffiths 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 Griffiths 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 Griffiths 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.