Decision - Employee-related decision
Outcome: Control of non-qualified staff (section 43 order)
Outcome date: 10 October 2019
Published date: 1 November 2019
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Clarity Family Law Solicitors
Address(es): 21-23 Station Road, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, SL9 8ES
Firm ID: 563600
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
Sameena Usmani, a person who is or was involved in legal practice but is not a solicitor, is now subject to section 43 Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended).
In March 2018 Clarity Family Law Solicitors employed Ms Usmani as an administrative assistant. The firm subsequently dismissed her.
In connection with her application for employment Ms Usmani:
- submitted a CV including false information about her employment history;
- acquired a domain name which was deliberately similar to that of another law firm;
- used that domain name to provide Clarity Family Law Solicitors with a fake email address for it to seek a reference for her;
- responded to that request falsely purporting to be someone else;
- provided false information which corroborated the false information she had given.
Her conduct was found to be dishonest.
I find that Ms Usmani is or was involved in a legal practice (as defined by section 43 (1A) of the Solicitors Act 1974) but is not a solicitor and has occasioned or been a party to, with or without the connivance of a solicitor, an act or default in relation to a legal practice which involved conduct on her part of such a nature that in the opinion of the Society it would be undesirable for her to be involved in a legal practice in any of the ways set out in the order below.
To make a section 43 order that with effect from the date of the letter or email notifying Ms Usmani of this decision:
- no solicitor shall employ or remunerate her in connection with his/her practice as a solicitor;
- no employee of a solicitor shall employ or remunerate her in connection with the solicitor’s practice;
- no recognised body shall employ or remunerate her;
- no manager or employee of a recognised body shall employ or remunerate her in connection with the business of that body;
- no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body shall permit her to be a manager of the body; and
- no recognised body or manager or employee of such a body shall permit her to have an interest in the body except in accordance with a Society permission.