Anonymous Solicitor has suspension lifted to work as Will Writer
An anonymous solicitor has had his indefinite suspension lifted by the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal in order to enable him to resume practice as a Will Writer.
According to the published judgement, the Solicitor known as “Respondent I” was suspended in October 2011 after they found him “not fit to practise” due to suffering from mental illness.
The judgement in 2011 read: “The Tribunal recognised the extreme effect which the Respondent’s medical condition had upon him and had some sympathy with this. The medical reports of Dr Rouncefield had been of great assistance. It was evident that the Respondent was incapable of undertaking even the simplest tasks and this had clearly impacted upon the Respondent’s ability to comply with his professional obligations.
“Whilst it was acknowledged by the Tribunal that the Respondent was no longer practising, the Tribunal determined that the Respondent was not fit to practise. The Tribunal had a duty to protect the public and the reputation of the solicitors’ profession. ”
Respondent I became a member of the Institute of Will Writers in 2014 however due to his suspension the Institute did not permit him to represent himself as such. Respondent I has stated his new line of work will not involve the winding up of estates or handling of client money.
As part of the 2011 judgement a report was prepared by a medical doctor on the judgement’s subject, which stated: “It is my opinion that these failures relate directly to his suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and that if he did not suffer from this illness, he would not be standing before this Tribunal. His failures are not due to his wilful neglect but to a disability that has prevented him from fulfilling his professional obligations”.
The 2015 report found a marked improvement in the Applicant’s health. The same doctor, Dr Rouncefield wrote “I examined [NAME REDACTED] for an hour and was unable to elicit any signs or symptoms of mental disorder. It is indeed pleasing to see him so well”
The Solicitor in question was asked to pay £2,049 in costs.