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SRA achieve strike off again over Escrow Account

In a decision dated 11th January 2016, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal have struck off another solicitor who faced allegations of Dishonesty and Lack of Integrity over the use of his client account as an Escrow Account for transactions that were suspicious and had the hallmarks of dubious financial investment schemes.

In the case of the SRA v Tom Jenkins Merralls,  which was heard on 28 and 29th July and again on 17th November 2015, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal imposed a strike off order and also ordered the Registrant to pay costs in the sum of £43,000.

This is another in a long line of cases which tend to involve small firms of solicitors who were keen to diversify into new business areas, and fell foul of sophisticated fraudsters who were simply looking to create the veneer of respectabilty for their unregulated financial products.

The law in relation to the use of a client account for this type of activity has been set out in a number of decisions and guidance on the SRA website. See blog article dated 11th June 2015 which sets out the cases and principles.

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