Probate practitioner reprimanded in £20k ‘gift’
Ben Moore has been banned from the probate profession after failing to declare a gift of £20,000 from a 92-year-old client.
A decision notice from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) showed that Mr Moore had been instructed by the client in 2016 to draft a Will and repeatedly helped the same client on multiple different matters.
A couple of years later, the client gave Mr Moore a cheque for £20,000 which the SRA reported that he accepted without informing the firm. This is contrary to the firm’s anti-bribery and corruption policy.
When he was investigated by the SRA, Mr Moore said that he’d considered himself to be a friend of the client due to the rapport they’d built up over the years he acted on the client’s instructions. He revealed that initially he did decline the money, but the client insisted he took it.
Following the SRA’s investigation, Mr Moore was issued with a Section 43 order preventing him from working for any regulated law firm without first seeking permission from the SRA. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs.