A complaint was made by the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against Steven Lilly, Bruce McCormack Ltd, Motherwell.
The Tribunal found the respondent guilty of professional misconduct in cumulo in respect of his failure to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 in respect of one client; his failure to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement, a verbal undertaking given to a client and written undertakings given to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission; his failure to respond promptly and efficiently and failure to communicate effectively by providing clear and comprehensive information in response to statutory notices sent to him by the Society in connection with complaints made by two clients and by the Society; his failure to communicate effectively by providing clear and comprehensive information in response to correspondence and statutory notices sent by the SLCC in respect of a complaint by one client; and his failure to respond to the Society’s reasonable enquiries in relation to books and records of his firm following an inspection, and failure or undue delay in providing the Society’s Financial Compliance Department with documentation and information requested, all in breach of rules 1.2, 1.9.1 and 6.18.17 of the Law Society of Scotland Practice Rules 2011. The Tribunal censured the respondent.
The Tribunal considered this to be an unfortunate case. None of the matters in the complaint in themselves were particularly serious, nor would they amount to professional misconduct.
However, there was a pattern of behaviour which, when taking all matters together, was sufficient for a finding in cumulo of professional misconduct.
The Tribunal considered that the conduct was at the lower end of the scale and noted that the respondent was extremely remorseful and had fully cooperated since the complaint was raised.
References had been lodged on his behalf and matters had now been resolved to the Guarantee Fund’s satisfaction.
The Tribunal further noted that the respondent was working for a supportive employer doing criminal legal aid work.
It did not consider that there was any risk to the public and saw no point in fining the respondent, who would in any event have the expenses of the proceedings to pay for.
It also dismissed the secondary complainer’s claim for compensation.www.ssdt.org.uk
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