A Knight(s)rider lands in hot water

A Knights partner who was convicted of assault and also drink driving, has been fined £1,700 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

According to a SRA settlement agreement published this week, Simon Trees, a dispute resolution partner at Knights, had been convicted of two separate offences which took place within a few days.

For the first offence, Trees had "pushed and grabbed the arm of another person during a brief altercation at his private residence" in August 2021. He pleaded guilty at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court in March this year. The court discharged him conditionally for 24 months, and ordered that he pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £22.

For the second incident, police stopped Trees while he was driving, and a breathalyser test revealed that he was over the alcohol limit. The Knights partner pleaded guilty in September 2021, at the same court. The court disqualified Trees from driving for 23 months (which was reduced after he completed a driving course), fined him £1730, and ordered that he pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £173.

Trees admitted to the SRA that he failed to behave in a way which upholds public trust and confidence in the solicitors' profession. The regulator took into account that Trees had "promptly reported his convictions to the SRA, and cooperated with its investigation", and "there was no lasting harm caused to persons or property in either incident". The SRA also noted that the Knights partner showed "insight and remorse for his actions."

The regulator therefore deemed a fine to be appropriate of £1700 as well as costs of £300.

In other news at Knights, insiders told RollOnFriday that the workforce "have been forced to come in 5 days a week". 

A source also told RollOnFriday that the firm has extended its date for reporting its half-year results from October to some time in December as referred to in the firm's financial calendar. The source said the full year results will be reported in April 2023, only four months after the half-year figures. "Therefore Knights do three quarter and full year results unlike everybody else," said the source.


However, well after the press deadline (but not three months) Knights PR confirmed the firm hasn't delayed, as it "never reported half-year results in October". The spokesman clarified that the firm "typically announce a HY trading update in late November each year covering the Six Months Ended 31 October. This is usually followed by the full, Half Year Results being announced in early January, a couple of months later, as is typical for a listed business." 

The spokesman added: "Knights typically report a full year trading update in May covering the Year Ended 30 April. This is followed by the full, full year results typically being announced in July each year." And that "Knights, therefore, follows best practice financial reporting." 



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The darkest Knight 04 November 22 08:39

Alas, the CEO has decreed that everybody must return to the office full time.  5 days, every week with “no exceptions”.

The share price languishes and the CEO’s promised “18 month recovery”, important to all those employees who weren’t lucky enough to sell their shares before the profits warning, looks increasingly unlikely.

People continue to leave and take clients with them.  Recruitment was already difficult but without the attraction of flexible working, there’s little chance of replacing those who have left or who are in the process of leaving.

The business model has well and truly failed. 




Anonymous 04 November 22 09:08

Takes some doing to spend 100m on acquisitions and see your market cap fall to about 50% of what it was when you listed. 
Assault and drink driving isn’t the story here.  Why is Knights in such a mess?  That’s the story everybody is interested in. 

Law recruiter 04 November 22 09:16

A disputes lawyer with a tendency for violent behaviour and bad driving. He can go work at that firm where all the partners act like tough guys. 

Remorseful 04 November 22 09:30

The SRA also noted that the Knights partner showed "insight and remorse for his actions."

Is the SRA referencing the assault and drink driving convictions or is the SRA referencing his decision to join and stay at Knights? 


Unlucky 04 November 22 09:36

Poor lad, I bet he wasn’t lucky enough to sell his shares just before the profits warning either.


Laughable 04 November 22 09:49

There has been no such message to return to the office 5 days a week. What a load of old tosh as usual. People love to hate Knights!

The Dark Knight 04 November 22 11:33

@Laughable: “There has been no such message to return to the office 5 days a week. What a load of old tosh as usual. People love to hate Knights!”

Do you actually work at Knights?! Perhaps you’re one of the few who aren’t subject to increased office days…

Anonymous 04 November 22 11:46

Unsure why “insiders” are openly lying - there has been no message about being in 5 days a week, nice to see RoF just reporting on one narked employee as usual 

Tinpot Knight 04 November 22 12:58

I’m not sure how Anonymous knows the comings and goings of all 1400 employees, unless their initials are DB

The Knight of Flowers 04 November 22 14:29

Oooop north we’ve been told five days a week. Presently we just check when the CSD is about and try to show face then. The partners encourage it and were more than happy with the hybrid 3 / 2. Note Knights in their statement don’t address any of this. 

Laughable 04 November 22 17:24

@TheDarkKnight Perhaps if you are so dissatisfied with Knights as an employer you should just leave…..

Anonymous 05 November 22 00:10

@laughable 17.24 - Yeh why listen to your staff and make it an appealing place to work, if they don’t like it then they can sod off! That’s worked out well so far hasn’t it? How many notices were handed in this week? 

Your comment sums up everything wrong with Knights. 

Anonymous 05 November 22 07:20

Seating capacity of Knights Chester, Manchester and Wimslow offices is circa 350.

The number of employees in those offices is circa 110.

Recruitment into those offices was exceptionally difficult even before the 5 day week was imposed.

The share price is sub 70p, down from around £4.  
The decline is directly attributable to mismanagement leading to hundreds of fee earners and thousands of clients leaving. 

Senior management sold lots of shares just before a profits warning.  They bought some back but the damage was done.

This business generates wafer thin profits on 100m turnover.

Everything is stacked against it but the single biggest issue it has is the reputation of its senior management team.  



Fight, drink, drive 05 November 22 10:58

Maybe the violent drunken episodes occurred because he was told that hourly rates would be going up again and he had to come into the office 5 days a week.  

Laughable 05 November 22 18:42

@thedarkknight Yes I do work at Knights… what I am confused about is why you do? Perhaps it would be best to move on if it’s so awful for you 

White Knight 06 November 22 10:23

The issue here seems to be inconsistency.  5 days a week in the office for the northern offices and something else for the rest.  Stupid decisions leading to dissent and anger. 
what happens now it’s been rumbled?  Consistency or another u turn?  

The Knight of Flowers 07 November 22 07:37

Hopefully another U turn but it would be really surprising. Difficult to stomach when we were told at the staff conference that it was employees who were the number one priority. Not sure what the current strategy is? Empty offices, no significant hires and ever increasing rates…

Knight knight 07 November 22 14:14

The message from the CSD in the northern offices is 5 days a week in the office unless you have a work related reason to work from home (the list of appropriate excuses is limited). A different CSD on an internal webinar was asked what the firms hybrid policy was, he was reluctant to give a direct answer to the question, either we have one or we don’t. Lack of communication is one of the reasons people are getting irritated with the business 

Kit 07 November 22 15:46

What’s a CSD?  Sounds unpleasant, I may have had one when my keks were too tight.

I love that Michael Knight, “a lone crusader in a dangerous world”, is featured.  Knights 5 day week is straight out of the 80’s.  They are also entering a dangerous world because surely nobody who values a decent work/life balance will put up with it.




Amused observer 08 November 22 08:37

Why on earth have a two tier approach to wfh?  You’ve got to be consistent or you lose all credibility.  You can’t have certain offices doing 2/3 days with the blessing of management and other offices having to do 5 days in the office.

It all smacks of a management team which is out of its depth.  

Anonymous 09 November 22 06:37

As I move from my bedroom to my desk on a cold dark morning, I find myself thinking of all those at Knights who are not as lucky as me.  There they are, sitting in cars in lines of traffic or awaiting public transport in the dark, shivering and miserable as “the commute” is forced back into their lives at great personal and financial cost.

Please spare a thought for our friends at Knights by standing outside your front door and bashing your pots and pans at 9am every morning.  If enough people hit enough pots and pans, Knights CEO might just hear them as he tees off at his leafy Cheshire golf club.




Anonymous 15 November 22 11:39

I can confirm the 5 day a week in the office policy applies to the southern offices too. On a totally unrelated note, one idea to cut costs is to make all your employees want to leave.  

A Happy Knight 16 November 22 23:40

I can confirm that Knights retain a hybrid working policy. On a totally unrelated note, talented and hardworking lawyers at Knights thrive. 

Knight’s worker bee 19 November 22 13:37


A Happy Knight 16 November 22 23:40

I can confirm that Knights retain a hybrid working policy. On a totally unrelated note, talented and hardworking lawyers at Knights thrive. 

Career progression in Knights depends on who you know and ‘how well you know them!!!’. 

Tinpot Knight 21 November 22 22:24

A Happy Knight 16 November 22 23:40

Not sure you work at Knights but if you do, today’s call has shown how wrong you are. 

Career progression now depends on where you plug in your laptop and phone apparently. Doing so in the shiny office leads to greatness and makes us “recession proof”. 

Fly By Knight 22 November 22 16:51

Happy Knight is clearly one of the CSD’s or a newly promoted individual. 

What a load of tosh

Anonymous 04 February 23 09:27

People were already resigning left right and centre due to bad CSD management and feeling depressed at the workplace, but now that the North has to work in the office 5 days a week, they’ll be lucky to have anyone left.

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