The SRA has taken disciplinary action against five solicitors for their involvement in investment schemes resulting in loses of over £35m. A further six cases have been reported to the SRA in the last two months.
Solicitors become involved in these schemes when those operating seek a solicitor's opinion in order to give their scheme an impression of credibility.
The SRA has commented, “we know the vast majority of solicitors and law firms would not knowingly become involved in such schemes, but you should all be aware of the signs. We have seen many different types of investment scheme fail.”
The legal profession have provided opinions on investment schemes for some time. We anticipate the number of reports of this nature will become more prominent in the coming months. For those who are instructed to advise on investment schemes going forward, the SRA has warned solicitors to be watchful of any warning signs.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has again warned solicitors against involving themselves in investment schemes after a rash of Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal verdicts. Five practitioners have been hauled before the tribunal in relation to investment schemes since the start of October; one was struck off, three suspended and a fifth fined £40,000. The solicitors involved had 21 days to appeal following publication of judgment.