A personal injury fee-earner created and backdated documents in a bid to mislead the court and others that he had met its deadlines, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed.
Adrian Mayers, a non-solicitor who worked at BDE Law in Newport for 14 months to August 2017, has been made subject to an order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974, meaning he cannot work in the profession again without permission from the regulator.
A regulatory settlement agreement published by the SRA yesterday detailed three cases where Mr Mayers had day-to-day conduct of the claim, while working under the direction and supervision of a solicitor, and backdated documents.
In the first, the court ordered that the claimant’s directions questionnaire be filed and served on the defendant by 18 July 2016. On 20 July, Mr Mayers drafted a letter to the court enclosing the questionnaire. He backdated the letter to 18 July and sent it to the court by email.
In the second case, the court ordered that either the claimant must notify it that the claim had been settled, or one of the parties must request an extension to the stay in proceedings, by noon on 12 June 2017.
On 13 June, Mr Mayers drafted and emailed a letter to the court asking for a stay in the proceedings, backdated to 12 June.
In the third case, the court had ordered standard disclosure to be served by 24 July 2017. On 25 July, Mr Mayers sent two letters, and backdated them both to 21 July.
One was addressed to the court and stated that the claimant’s list of documents was enclosed, while the other was sent to the defendant insurer, enclosing the list of documents.
When BDE became aware of Mr Mayers’ conduct in July 2017, it began internal disciplinary proceedings. Mr Mayers left the firm the following month.
Mr Mayers admitted his wrongdoing and that his conduct was dishonest.
The agreement said: “Mr Mayer’s conduct makes it undesirable for him to be involved in a legal practice because his willingness to mislead the court and others in connection with judicial proceedings poses a risk to the proper administration of justice.”
Mr Mayers also agreed to pay costs of £300.