A conveyancing assistant who received kickbacks has been barred from working for another law firm by the sector’s regulator.
Stuart Farrar pocketed ‘commissions’ totalling £3,325 paid by a conveyancing search firm, which broke company rules.
He was working for conveyancer Hughes & Co in Tring, Hertfordshire, where he had been employed for more than two years, when he received the money in 2022 despite knowing it was not allowed.
Farrar asked for a payment in cash of £500 which he said was to cover costs, when the client had already paid the firm costs of £750, and no further amount was due. He did not account to his firm for the £500 payment. Hughes & Co has now reimbursed the client in full.
On two other occasions, Farrar offered clients a discount on abortive conveyancing costs if they paid him in cash.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) said Farrar’s actions “lacked integrity” and were “dishonest”.
“An order pursuant to section 43(2) of the Solicitors Act 1974 was imposed as Mr Farrar’s conduct meant that it was undesirable for him to be involved in a legal practice without the SRA’s prior approval,” the SRA said.
“This was because of the serious nature of his conduct, which was dishonest.”
The SRA has put restrictions on where and how Farrar can work in an SRA-regulated firm. He was also ordered to pay a proportion of the SRA’s costs of £1,350.
Read the ful decision about the conveyancer here
Read more about the Solicitors Regulation Authority.