Decision - Employee-related decision
Outcome: Control of non-qualified staff (section 43 order)
Outcome date: 13 March 2020
Published date: 17 March 2020
Firm or organisation at time of matters giving rise to outcome
Name: Lovetts Limited
Address(es): Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1LR
Firm ID: 79983
This outcome was reached by SRA decision.
IN THE MATTER OF
Kathryn Louise Thomas a person who is or was involved in legal practice but is not a solicitor.
Kathryn Louise Thomas was employed as a paralegal in the debt recovery department of Lovetts Limited of Bramley House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford GU3 1LR from 8 June 2015 until 13 September 2018, when she resigned with immediate effect.
Kathryn Louise Thomas failed to progress a client’s matter. When she was questioned about it, she created letters and backdated them to pretend the matter had been progressed; she lied to her client and her employers and deleted correspondence on the client’s file in breach of her employer’s procedures.
It was found that Kathryn Louise Thomas had acted dishonestly.
Kathryn Louise Thomas is not currently working.
I find that Kathryn Louise Thomas 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 immediate effect:
- 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 an SRA permission.