It's always the cover-up.
A trainee has been banned from law for fiddling the dates on emails relating to extra matters he was told to handle while a colleague was away.
Daniel Hall, who was training at Liverpool firm Bermans, was tasked with looking after a colleague's real estate files while she was on leave. But the SRA has found that he was a little remiss in providing cover.
In its decision notice, the SRA described how Hall misled the colleague by producing two bogus emails which suggested he had undertaken the required tasks on the files, leading her to mistakenly inform the client that their matter had been progressed.
However, neither emails showed the time and date they were sent. When his colleague queried the anomaly, Hall forwarded the same emails again, and this time they displayed the missing information.
RollOnFriday can only imagine the trainee's despair as he watched across the office as she picked up the phone to IT.
In the subsequent meeting, the colleague presented Hall with evidence that he had not sent the emails, and he admitted that he had removed the dates and times from the first emails, and then added false dates and times for his second attempt.
Hall admitted to the SRA that his conduct was misleading and dishonest, and that his actions meant it was undesirable for him to be involved in a law firm.
In mitigation, he said personal circumstances were causing him "a significant amount of worry and distraction" at the time, and that he felt under pressure from his workload. He said that his desperate forgeries "were a result of him trying to keep up with his work".
The regulator has come under fire for being too quick to ban junior lawyers acting poorly under pressure. There was uproar over the regulator's treatment of Claire Matthews, an NQ who was struck off after she lied about leaving sensitive documents on a train - her case is now to be reheard.
He sounds like a solid chap.
Lord Lester 24 September 21 08:20: Yes, and we both have something in common - neither of us was cleared by our professional regulator.
Own your mistakes. Getting sacked from a law firm is better than being banned from the whole profession.
Is no one asking why a trainee was sending emails without supervision? It was a foolish thing to do, but I feel like most of these examples would never have happened if there was appropriate supervision. As awful as the SRA is, these constant examples of lack of supervision are showing us that law firms are not producing good lawyers.
The only pressure I felt as a trainee was in the nightclub at 1.50am. Is giving a false name and phone number in the morning dishonest and should I be struck off?
Well here's another chap that the BSB will clear of all wrongdoing without a moment of hesitation.
For the avoidance of doubt, I am here referring to the Budget Solicitors Bureau, under whose purview I am confident that 'Bermans' will fall.
He's not fit for the profession. Neither is Matthews.
Terrible supervision and training might be contributing factors but they're not excuses.
Can we be entirely confident that the original emails were not sent during a brief interlude of quantum disruption during which time and space ceased to exist as we know it for a short period, thereby accounting for the absence of a timestamp from the originals?
Evidence to be presented in triplicate in a black ringbinder or we can't believe a single word that you say and must assume you to be a feminist sleeper agent and/or a jesuit.
Shouldn’t this reflect on the firms workload and work capacity of their employees? Everyone’s overloaded and burnt out the sooner employers realise that the better we’re not robots
The SRA need to do more to ensure juniors and trainees are actually being supervised. They have regulations about it, but I've never seen evidence of it being enforced. It isn't in the interests of trainees to flag it up, as the only action is likely to be their period of recognised training being deemed invalid. Of course, the firms won't report themselves for poor supervision either. So what are the SRA actually doing to check?
Better just to have the confidence to say "I didn't have sufficient time to do that yet but I will now treat it as a priority - sorry".
How ****ed up must a working environment be to lead to such behaviour?
Question Man 24 September 21 10:42: indeed. We are all tiring of the tedious bloke who pops up on these comment sections, asking bad faith questions.
This underlines the problem with the SRA, it’s sanction model dates from the 1840s. If the Partners in the firms were made subject to the same penalties as the employed juniors, then there would a huge decrease i these type of cases. As it stands, shitty high street law firms with thier over geared fee earning models allow sloppy partners to wring their hands, claiming “bad apple“. Shame on the SRA.