The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal has severely reprimanded an East London solicitor who breached an injunction and poached clients from his old firm, saying that the case should sound a warning for all advocates.
The tribunal heard last week that Daniel Jerome, a solicitor at Bow firm Wallace Bogan & Co, agreed to bide by an injunction not to poach former clients when he moved across the road to join another firm, Breeze Benton.
But in March last year he was ordered to pay £8,000 costs to Wallace Bogan after the High Court found he had breached the injunction.
Roger Field, acting for the Law Society, said there was an "unseemly incident" at Thames Magistrates Court when Jerome and a barrister instructed by Wallace Bogan both turned up to represent the same client.
Jerome, who conducted his own case before the tribunal, still denied breaking the injunction and said that his client had specifically asked him to represent her.
He called evidence from the barrister, Ibtihal Bsis, who said that she was astonished when she heard that Jerome had been taken to the High Court.
David Faull, sitting with Elodie Stanley and Lady Ann Maxwell-Hyslop, said that although it was a very serious offence for any solicitor to be found in contempt of court, they had taken the mitigating circumstances into account. The tribunal reprimanded Jerome and awarded costs against him.
Faull said the case should serve as a warning not only to Jerome in his further work, but also to other advocates.