cain steele trump

Steele, Cain and Trump, probably not getting together anytime soon.

Nicola Cain, the former BBC barrister who became a partner at RPC, has been banned from working in law firms.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority said that her conduct while at RPC meant it was "undesirable for her to be involved in a legal practice".

Its order published this week prevents solicitors, their employees, and SRA-regulated businesses from employing or paying Cain without the SRA's prior permission, just in case anyone was willing to overlook her past errors in light of her legal prowess. 

Before moving to RPC's highly regarded media practice in 2017, Cain was a rising star at the BBC, and was feted in the Times as a hot prospect. In an interview with the paper in 2012 she said her worst day as a lawyer was "a toss-up between a client throwing a chair at my head when I was an outdoor clerk, and developing flu on day one of a challenging tribunal case". Her picks have probably been surpassed by a few days since then.

Cain admitted fabricating a court order to fool her client, Christopher Steele, while she defended him in defamation proceedings brought by a Russian businessman he had named in his infamous ‘Trump dossier'.

Cain forged Senior Master Fontaine's signature in a fake order which she used to mislead Steele and prevent him from finding out that she had failed to comply with routine disclosure obligations, and that the claimant had applied to strike out Steele's defence as a result. 

When a hearing was arranged to sort out the mess, Cain intercepted a court order requiring Steele to pay the claimant's £9,000 costs, and altered its wording before Steele saw it so that the sum appeared to relate to an extra witness statement instead of her bungle.

In her BSB hearing, Cain admitted five charges of professional misconduct, which included misleading Steele on another occasion by requesting "urgent instructions" from him for a hearing which had actually taken place the day before.

Cain was pulled from the case once her actions came to light, putting RPC in the position of having to testify that its own lawyer had “actively, seriously and repeatedly misled" its client, and she later left the firm.

The former barrister was ordered to pay the SRA's £300 costs. She told RollOnFriday as part of a longer statement, "It is with some disappointment that the SRA has only now addressed the matters that I self-reported to them and the BSB in 2020. The SRA’s decision does not raise any new issues regarding my conduct. The finding relates to matters which took place over a brief period in December 2019-January 2020, some 3 years ago, at a time when, as both the BSB and RPC accepted, I had not had appropriate resource to fulfil my professional obligations".

"I sincerely regret and have apologised for my conduct, which was recognised by TBTAS [The Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Services] as being isolated, not representative of my personal or professional conduct and not likely to be repeated", she said.

"I remain grateful to those clients, colleagues, peers and friends who have supported me throughout this period", added Cain.

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John West 09 December 22 08:39

"I sincerely regret ... that the SRA has only now addressed the matters". Is there any limit to this woman's hubris?

Anon 09 December 22 09:38

Hang on, she's getting away with a £300 costs fine and not being struck off? Meanwhile how many juniors and even trainees has the SRA thrown the book at for similar offences, except at the time they weren't partners? Her statement also reeks of entitlement. 

Anonymous 09 December 22 09:46

She wasn't a solicitor, anon 9.38, so nothing to strike her off from. She was a barrister and she's already been disbarred by the BSB.

I hate your shit regional law firm 09 December 22 11:04

I can’t remember the name but pretty certain that she now runs a data protection consultancy so she’s essentially doing the same job (save fraudulent litigation) and she escaped RPC.  Doesn’t feel like much of a punishment. 

Anonymous 09 December 22 13:14

"my conduct, which was recognised by TBTAS as being isolated, not representative of my personal or professional conduct"

She has been found guilty of FIVE counts of misconduct and this is still "isolated" and "not representative"? Really?

Djed 09 December 22 16:33

The lesson here is if you’re a senior legal professional that gets caught forging signatures and committing professional misconduct, you get a slap on the wrist. If you’re a trainee that makes an honest mistake because you’re extremely overworked and under-supported by your firm, you’ll get smeared for life.

Asian Lawyer 09 December 22 19:12

I see what's happening here. Meanwhile a certain Asian Lawyer was sent to prison and another faced the sdt for what the sdt said was an oversight. Moral of the story. If you're a white lawyer, you can get away with anything.  

TheBrownLawyer 09 December 22 19:34

Wow. White privilege does exist. Imagine if she was brown or black - the sra and the BSB would have applied to have her locked up like Sophia. 

Buzz. 12 December 22 16:45

Or there's the other moral of the story, you're regulated by the regulator of the profession of which you are a member and not by the regulator of a profession of which you are not a member.

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