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Solicitor Ordered to Pay £54,000 in Costs on Appeal from Fine of £2,000

19th January, 2018

Professional misconduct was recently at issue in the case of Donna Eloise Cannon v Solicitors Regulation Authority Case No: 11547-2016 Ms Cannon was ordered to pay the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (“SRA”) costs of £54,000 when she decided to appeal a decision to impose a Rebuke, fine of £2,000 and costs of £1,350.

Ms Cannon, who was at the relevant time a consultant for Karen Mackie Solicitor, faced five allegations from the SRA. These included:

  1. Acting inappropriately when dealing with her bank relationship manager;
  2. Disclosing sensitive information about her former partner to a client;
  3. Drafting correspondence in an inappropriate tone;
  4. Disclosing personal and sensitive data to an employer; and
  5. Holding herself out as a principal of Karen Mackie Solicitor.

All five allegations were found to be proved by the SRA who decided to impose a rebuke, a fine of £2,000 and costs of £1,350.

Ms Cannon decided to appeal the decision on the grounds that there was procedural unfairness, bias, failure to properly consider evidence and failure to apply the facts and law correctly.

Ms Cannon was unsuccessful in her appeal with the Tribunal stating,

What had begun as a simple case of five allegations, for which the documents were sufficient proof, had turned on appeal into a three-day substantive hearing. It was not clear to the Tribunal why the Appellant had apparently so fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the allegations she had faced and the Adjudicator’s findings. For whatever reason, she had lost perspective and had pursued an appeal which appeared hopeless given that there was no evidence to suggest any unfairness or bias in the adjudication process.”

Ms Cannon was ultimately ordered to pay £54,015 in costs.

If you are facing an SRA investigation, SRA adjudication, or proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, then please contact our Professional Practices team for specialist advice.

 

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