A tax lawyer who worked for a virtual law firm has been struck off following his conviction for attempting sexual communications with a child.
Daniel Pipe, who was a consultant for Jurit, fell for a sting operation on the Grindr dating app, where his user name was ‘Dad4Lad’.
An undercover police officer using the profile name ‘Josh Josh’ had created a fake profile on which he wrote, “last week half term soooooo bored today, anyone wanna chat”.
Pipe did, writing “hi” to ‘Josh’, who replied that he was “chilling” because it was half term.
Pipe escalated matters rapidly, responding, “Nice. Just chilling too jerking my dick to some porn”.
When ‘Josh’ said that he was 13 years old, Pipe replied, “No Probs” and immediately sent across two dick pics and asked 'Josh' if he has ever “played with a fat one like that”.
In between telling ‘Josh’ about his job as a lawyer, Pipe asked the cop he thought was a 13-year-old boy what he was wearing, saying that he was in a t-shirt and had his “cock out” as “I’m gonna be wanking it all evening”.
Pipe told ‘Josh’ that he "should be wanking now" as he was old enough and suggested that he could give the boy oral sex and show him how to do it. He added a thumbs up emoji, and said that he was married and that married men “suck better”.
The solicitor then attempted to invite ‘Josh’ over to get a takeaway and watch porn together, telling him he had the house to himself, and providing his address and phone number.
Pipe was arrested at home a month later and convicted in September 2021, having failed to convince the jury that he thought he was communicating with an adult who was roleplaying as a child.
Pipe maintained his ‘incredibly risky assumption’ defence before the SDT, and attempted to cast the interaction as an isolated “moment of madness”.
But the SDT said the 90 minute online chat indicated it was more than a moment, while the damage Pipe’s misconduct had wrought on the reputation of the profession was “significant”.
“When looked at dispassionately this case was a stark one wherein an adult had pursued a highly sexualised conversation with a person who said he was 13 years old”, the tribunal said.
Pipe, who was featured on Jurit's website until relevantly recently and appeared in a Bonkers Law Firm Website piece last year, was struck off and ordered to pay the SRA's costs of £7,350.