Easy to learn.
The SRA has fined a solicitor for dumping rubbish bags containing client information outside his office.
Trevor Nicholas Senkatuka was the sole practitioner of the now-defunct firm, Windsor Croft Solicitors, in Essex. The local council fined him for fly-tipping on the pavement outside his office. Council workers took photographs of the bags which revealed that they contained private client information.
“The public would not expect a solicitor to put client information at risk in this way," said the SRA in its decision. “The public expect their private information to be treated in the utmost confidence by the profession.”
The SRA said that Senkatuka also failed to report the breach of confidentiality caused by the fly-tipping to the regulator or the Information Commissioner's Office. And there was no evidence that he had contacted the affected clients.
The regulator also found that Senkatuka had failed to supervise a caseworker, Mr Mashate, who he wrongly thought to be a barrister. Mashate had never been called to the Bar, but seemed to have duped Senkatuka with his CV and a letter purporting to be from Lincoln’s Inn. Senkatuka admitted to the SRA that he should have done more to investigate Mashate’s credentials.
In one matter, Mashate drafted a claim for a client that was “procedurally flawed to the point where it could not be corrected”, said the SRA. As a result, the claim was struck out. Senkatuka admitted that he had only supervised Mashate once a month, which the SRA said was insufficient.
The regulator also found Senkatuka failed to close his firm in an orderly fashion. The SRA fined the litter-bug solicitor £2,000 and ordered that he pay £600 in costs.