Decision - Employee-related decision
Outcome: Control of non-qualified staff (section 43 order)
Outcome date: 23 December 2019
Published date: 10 February 2020
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Mayland Porter Limited
Address(es): 53 Deardengate, Haslingden, ROSSENDALE, Lancashire BB4 5QN
Firm ID: 633868
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
Mohammed Yasin, who is not a solicitor, was one of the owners and managers of Mayland Porter Limited whose head office was at The Hub Business Centre, Room 26, 2 Civic Drive, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 2QA
It was found that Mr Yasin:
- Made improper payments from the firm's client account which led to a minimum identified cash shortage of £3,601,397.08 as at 31 August 2017.
- Failed to replace the above shortage promptly or at all.
- Allowed the firm to become involved in, or alternatively acquiesced in the firm's involvement in, conveyancing transactions which bore the hallmarks of fraud.
- Allowed false and misleading documentation, including correspondence and undertakings, to be provided to solicitors acting for other parties in conveyancing matters.
- Transferred client money to third parties without authority or instructions from the relevant clients. On one matter, he transferred client money to a bank account in his personal name, without the client's authority or instructions.
- Failed to carry out adequate enquiry in relation to the identity, employment history and practising status of an employee. He also failed to exercise appropriate supervision over the firm's London office and the staff who were working there.
- Failed to notify serious misconduct at the firm to the SRA and to co-operate with or engage with the SRA in connection with its forensic inspection of the firm. He also failed to manage an orderly closure of the firm in the interests of the firm's clients and failed to co-operate or engage with the firm's professional indemnity insurers in connection with its investigations.
- The above conduct breached SRA Principles 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10 of the SRA Principles 2011 and rules 6, 7 and 29 of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011.
A finding of dishonesty was made against Mr Yasin and he was made subject to a disqualification order pursuant to section 99 of the Legal Services Act 2007.
This order prevents him from holding any of the following roles in a licensed body:
- Head of Legal Practice.
- Head of Finance and Administration.
- A manager
- An employee.