Conveyancer referred to Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over missing million
A conveyancing solicitor has been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after more than £1.2 million went missing from a client account.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has alleged that East London based Ejaz Ahmad made improper transfers amounting to £1,203,276.66. He is also accused of failing to redeem six charges over five properties.
In addition, according to the regulator, Mr Ahmad failed to obtain the proper authorisation from the SRA to operate as a sole practitioner and neglected to keep properly written-up accounting records. He is also accused of not disclosing information required by the SRA to inspect the books of account, and of giving false or misleading information.
The regulator also stated that Mr Ahmad’s firm, LG Law Chambers, did not have a registered Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP) or a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA).
In 2015, Mr Ahmad’s practising certificate was suspended with immediate effect and his firm closed. Based in the East End of London, LG Law Chambers specialised in immigration advice, family, employment, private client and general civil litigation. At the time, the SRA said there was “reason to suspect dishonesty” on the part of Ejaz Ahmed.
Another solicitor was also suspended in the context of this intervention. However, he subsequently had his practising certificate restored after it was discovered that he was not a partner at the firm. The move came as the SRA closed a host of law firms, including LG Law Chambers, on the grounds of alleged dishonesty.
Following an SRA hearing in February and a case management hearing this week, the regulator has announced that it will prosecute the case before the SDT on Monday 8th January 2018.
The SDT is an independent statutory tribunal. Cases are heard by a panel of two solicitors and one lay member. The allegations are subject to this hearing and are as yet unproven.