The head of catastrophic injury claims at a law firm has been fined by the SRA after he forwarded a "grossly offensive" email.
Paul Breen was a PI department head at Liverpool firm Cassell Moore Law when he passed on the crude email to a colleague in August 2015. In its decision, the SRA said that Breen "inappropriately forwarded" the message "with content that was highly derogatory and grossly offensive towards women and persons of a particular religious group."
The SRA noted that Breen "was not the author of the email and did not expressly endorse the content" although he "forwarded it without condemnation". The SRA did not provide details in its decision as to exactly what was written in the email.
A bit of bantz. What could possibly go wrong?
Breen, who is not a solicitor, admitted to the SRA that he failed to carry out his role in the business "in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity." The SRA said that his conduct had potential to cause significant harm.
In mitigation, the SRA accepted that the views in the email did not reflect Breen's true character and beliefs, and that Breen had expressed remorse and was deeply ashamed of the email. The SRA said that the "nature of the misconduct was low" because Breen had "cooperated with the investigation" and there was "no pattern of misconduct".
Breen, who is now the head of catastrophic injury at JMW Solcitors in Manchester, was fined £1,600 by the SRA and agreed to pay £600 in costs. The fine was at the lower end of the scale compared with the regulator's penalty over this Bantersaurus Rex's email.