Addleshaw Goddard partners fined £5,000 over ‘misdescribed’ disbursements

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has fined two Addleshaw Goddard partners £5,000 each after they were investigated over discrepancies relating to disbursements. 

Partners Emmett Peters and David Wilson faced the SDT today after the pair were referred to the tribunal by the SRA. They were represented at the tribunal by Fountain Court’s Tim Dutton QC.

The pair were fined over ‘misdescribing’ the disbursements in question, which, the SRA accepted, bore no reflection on the integrity of the two partners. Wilson ‘misdescribed’ disbursements in 74 legal bills and Peters in 94, the SDT heard.

The regulator accepted that the disbursements, however they may have been described, were both properly incurred and chargeable to the clients concerned. There was also no allegation that either Peters or Wilson had been dishonestly involved or seeking any personal gain.

In recommending that the pair should be fined £5,000 the SDT accepted the recommendation of the SRA. The Addleshaws partners have also been ordered to contribute towards the £6,000 in costs incurred by the SRA.

Dutton had argued that both had already suffered serious financial penalties due to being held back at 2011 partnership levels, in one case amounting to a six-figure loss.

Addleshaw Goddard was not implicated in the case and no clients had been affected.

The Lawyer revealed on Thursday that the pair had been referred to the tribunal (31 October 2013).