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Applicant Solicitors Regulation Authority Ltd
Respondent Philip John Burbidge

Case details

Allegation Breaches, Code of Conduct 2011, Dishonesty, Lack of Integrity, SRA Principles 2011
Outcome Strike off
Executive summary

The Respondent did not serve an Answer and he played no part in the substantive hearing.

The Tribunal found all allegations proved on the balance of probabilities.

The Tribunal found the Respondent’s letter to Clients A and B did not set out the true and accurate status of their case and that the Respondent had dishonestly misled Clients A and B. There had been a continuum of inaction or inadequately progressed work on the Respondent’s part, spread over many months, essentially ‘too little too late’.

This culminated in his clients’ case being struck out unnecessarily by his failure to comply with an Unless Order, and his later failure to notify his clients and obtain their instructions in good time regarding a time-limited without prejudice offer as to costs made by the Defendants. By notifying his clients of this offer a day late his clients were obliged to pay the costs order in full.

The Respondent had been qualified for 25 years and he would have been aware of the risk of failing to comply with Unless Orders. Also, the Tribunal found that, as an experienced solicitor he would have been aware of the risks associated with failing to respond to another parties without prejudice offer within the stipulated time frame; it was unreasonable for the Respondent to take such a risk and he was found to have been reckless in relation to allegations 1.2 and 1.3.

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