The Solicitors Regulation Authority has referred Mishcon de Reya and its former star sports partner for prosecution over her alleged approach to the firm's client account.
The SDT is set to prosecute Liz Ellen for allegedly causing or allowing payments to be made into and out of Mishcon's client account "in circumstances amounting to the provision of a banking facility", while the firm is accused of failing to take "any or adequate steps" to prevent it.
Ellen trained at Mishcon, and over 16 years she became a partner and the head of its Sports Group before she left ;in 2020 to set up her own consultancy, Livida Sport, with a Mishcon colleague.
Ellen's recent work includes acting on the transfer of Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City FC to Borussia Dortmund, and the SRA's charge is understood to also relate to a footballer's transfer, when a significant proportion of a £1.9m fee was allegedly paid by Newcastle United to a football agent, via Mishcon, in 2011.
Ellen's lawyer, Anthony Barnfather of Barnfather Solicitors said the matter "refers to historical issues occurring more than a decade ago when our client was a junior lawyer working under the supervision of various partners at MDR".
He said the case would be considered by an independent tribunal so he could not comment further, "However, we can confirm that our client will defend those aspects of the proceedings that concern any alleged breaches involving her".
A spokesperson for Mishcon de Reya said the case "principally relates to admitted technical breaches" which "are connected to a former colleague", adding that it was a "historical matter" which the firm self-reported.