The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last week dismissed an allegation of misconduct against Liz Ellen, a former partner of Mishcon de Reya LLP. The Solicitors Regulation Authority alleged that Ms Ellen had caused or allowed the firm to provide banking facilities through its client account, in breach of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 2011 and Principle 8 of the SRA Principles 2011 (which requires solicitors and firms to run their businesses, or carry out their role in the business, effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles). The allegation related principally to the period 2011-2013, when (as the tribunal accepted) Ms Ellen was a relatively junior associate solicitor. The tribunal held that Ms Ellen had not caused or allowed the relevant payments.

The Tribunal also held that Mishcon de Reya (the predecessor to Mishcon de Reya LLP), which had made a number of admissions, had breached the banking facility rule in the SARs and Principle 8 of the SRA Principles 2011. The Tribunal imposed a fine of £25,000 on the firm.

The question of costs will be considered at a hearing on 6 December 2021 and written reasons will be published by the tribunal in due course.

Richard Coleman QC and Marianne Butler acted for Ms Ellen, instructed by Barnfathers. Chloe Carpenter QC acted for the firm, instructed by Mayer Brown International LLP.