ET phone solicitor for the hundredth time.
A solicitor has been struck off after receiving £132,000 for a client's divorce settlement, but then ignoring requests to transfer the money.
Sole practitioner Analiza Kjaer of Able Law, in London, was instructed on a divorce, and in 2020 received settlement money for the matter. Her client, known as 'ET' in the tribunal's decision, had signed the transfer deed of the former matrimonial home, which was then sent to her ex-husband's solicitor.
ET sent multiple chasers to Kjaer for the money that she was owed. However, the elusive solicitor replied just once, apologising for the delay, and asking for the client's bank details; but then did not respond to all subsequent emails from the client.
The SRA investigated and discovered that Able Law's client account had a balance of just £64,461, meaning that a huge chunk of the funds owed to ET were unaccounted for. A compensation fund from the legal profession had to be used to reimburse the out-of-pocket client.
When the SRA visited Able Law's office, it appeared to be impersonating the Mary Celeste, as the regulator reported that Kjaer had "vacated" it "some time prior to the visit." The SRA shut down the firm.
The ghosting solicitor failed to reply to correspondence from the SRA, and did not engage in the tribunal process.
In the SDT's decision, it found that Kjaer had told her client that she intended to "chase up" the missing payments, even though she had received the money the previous month. The tribunal ruled the solicitor had acted "dishonestly and without integrity" as she had "misrepresented to ET that she did not have the authority to release the funds."
The panel accepted the SRA's "unchallenged documentary and witness evidence" and struck Kjaer off the roll, and ordered that she pay over £27,500 in costs.
It is understood that ET has also reported Kjaer to the police.