Oral judgment has been handed down by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in the case brought against 5 partners and 1 former partner of Raleys Solicitors at which Timothy Dutton QC and Chloe Carpenter represented the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. Partner Ian Firth was suspended from practice for 4 years, David Barber for 2 years and Jonathan Markham for 6 months. 2 junior partners and 1 former junior partner were each fined £10,000.
The case centred around Raleys’ handling of approximately 60,000 cases under the miners compensation schemes. Raleys deducted and paid to the NUM a total of £7.6 million from approximately 29,000 clients’ damages. Raleys had also borrowed approximately £4 million from NUM Area Trusts. The Respondents were found to have recommended that clients sign an agreement with the NUM which was not in clients’ best interests and to have acted in circumstances of conflict between their own interests and the interests of their clients and between the interests of the NUM and the interests of their clients. The Respondents had also purchased approximately 19,000 further claims from a claims farmer for £5.4m in breach of the Introduction and Referral Code from which Raleys stood to gain £32m in fee income.
This case has attracted wide press interest. For example please see: