A lawyer has been struck off for continuing to practise after his firm shut down.
Huw Price, sole solicitor of Valleys Law, has been stuck off the solictors roll. His firm closed in April 2015. But Price continued to do family law work under the defunct firm's name and he sent out correspondence using the firm's headed paper. Two law firms reported Price and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) investigated. Price lied to the SRA about details concerning the winding down of his firm. Mr Price also failed to disclose that over £20,000 was still held in Valley Law's client account.
Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
The SRA brought the matter to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and stated that Mr Price had continued to run the firm after it was closed. The SRA said that he did so without authorisation and in breach of his practising certificate. The SRA also stated that Mr Price deceived them about the sum of money in the client account.The tribunal said that Mr Price 'must have known' that his client account held more than he stated. The tribunal also said that he gave fase information. The judgment added: ‘He lied cumulatively as he was repeatedly asked about the position and chased for information. [Mr Price] followed a deliberate strategy to mislead.’
The tribunal also found that Price had failed to notify the SRA that he had been adjudged bankrupt in May 2017. He also failed to disclose this update when he applied in June 2017 to have the suspension of his practising certificate lifted so he could work at another firm. Mr Price was not present at his hearing. He did not submit any mitigation. But he did email the tribunal to apologise for his mistakes which had led to the SRA intervention in his former practice. As well as being struck off, he was ordered to pay around £24,000 in costs.