A solicitor who ‘pursued a considered and calculated path’ when he falsely represented a client has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Lawson Akhigbe, admitted in December 2007, was a director of Kingsville Law between November 2016 and September 2017. The principal solicitor of Kingsville Law said, in a statement to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, that Akhigbe was a consultant for Kingsville Law until the end of 2016.

The SDT found he had falsely represented to a client and/or GT Stewart Solicitors, and/or to the Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, that Kingsville Law Solicitors Limited was representing the client when it was not.

The tribunal also found that Akhigbe practised as a solicitor outside the regulator’s practice framework and failed to take any adequate steps to respond to a bill of costs claimed against the client, having accepted a £250 fixed fee.

Akhigbe denied all allegations against him.

Ordering a strike-off, the SDT said Akhigbe had caused ‘serious harm to the reputation of the solicitor’s profession by his extremely poor conduct which had been a significant departure from the complete integrity, probity and trustworthiness expected of a solicitor’. It said his motivation was ‘one of personal and financial self-interest to obtain an income stream for himself’.

It added: ‘The respondent’s actions were not spontaneous, on the contrary, he had pursued a considered and calculated path in which he caused his client, the court, and other solicitors with whom he came into contact to believe he was working for Kingsville Law when he had known this was not the case.’

Akhigbe was ‘experienced enough to understand the nature of his conduct and the consequences which flowed from them. A solicitor of any level of experience would know that representing a client on a false basis and misleading the court was unacceptable,’ the judgment stated. ‘This had not been a fleeting or momentary lapse of judgment but had been a course of conduct over months, involving dishonesty, taking a client’s money, and doing very little to improve their situation, on the contrary he had made it much worse.’

Akhigbe, who took no part in the substantive hearing, was ordered to pay £20,070.96 in costs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *