Decision - Employee-related decision
Outcome: Control of non-qualified staff (Section 43 / Section 99 order)
Outcome date: 29 September 2021
Published date: 30 September 2021
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Cockburn Gostling
Address(es): 61 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BP
Firm ID: 568451
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
IN THE MATTER OF: Tina Portillo of West Sussex
A person who is or was involved in a legal practice but is not a solicitor
Between 2006 and January 2020, Mrs Portillo was employed as a bookkeeper by both the recognised body Theaker Loadsman & Reynolds (TLR) and the registered sole practice of Mr Loadsman, Cockburn Gostling (CG).
It was found that:
- While employed as a bookkeeper for TLR and CG, Mrs Portillo took money from both TLR and CG’s office accounts without authorisation and used that money for her own benefit.
Her conduct in doing so was dishonest.
- While employed as a bookkeeper for CG, Mrs Portillo made an improper client to office transfer without which a loan payment of CG could not have been paid.
Mrs Portillo was ordered to pay the SRA’s costs of £300 in investigating this matter.
Mrs Portillo, who is not a solicitor, was involved in a legal practice and has occasioned or been a party to an act or default which involved such conduct on her part that it is undesirable for her to be involved in a legal practice in any of the ways described in the order below.
To make an order pursuant to section 43 that with effect from the date of the letter or email notifying Tina Portillo 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 the SRA’s prior written permission