A male Travers Smith associate has been suspended after he behaved inappropriately, while a former Browne Jacobson employee has been banned from working in the legal industry in the latest examples of misconduct in the industry.
A Travers associate has been “immediately” suspended after an independent investigation found that inappropriate conduct took place, according to a statement by the firm on Friday.
In the statement, the firm added: “The investigation found that inappropriate conduct took place, and the associate left the firm. As in this case, we take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously.”
The firm commissioned a KC to undertake the “independent and thorough” investigation which lead to the lawyer leaving the firm.
A person with knowledge of the matter confirmed that in line with proper regulations, the matter had been reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
The firm added: “to preserve the privacy and confidentiality of those involved, it would be inappropriate for the firm to make any further comment.”
Meanwhile, a former Browne Jacobson employee has been barred from working in the legal industry by the SRA after being sentenced to prison for theft.
Lewis Green, a technical engineer, was employed by the firm from October 2019 until May 2021 after he was dismissed for gross misconduct.
According to a judgment published by the SRA, in February 2022 Green was convicted of stealing goods worth approximately £23,000 from the firm, including 38 iPhones and 10 laptops.
He has been sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 15 months, and must complete 150 hours of unpaid work. Green has also been ordered to pay costs of £340 and a victim surcharge of £156.
The SRA in its judgment said having been convicted of a criminal offence, “it is undesirable for him to be involved in a legal practice” and has barred him from being employed or remunerated in connection with by a recognised SRA body.
The SRA recently overhauled its fining powers when it comes to tackling misconduct in the legal industry, increasing the maximum fine it can impose on solicitors, traditional firms and its employees to £25,000. Previously the maximum was £2,000.
A number of firms have been involved in SRA judgments over the last few months. In July, employees at both Penningtons Manches Cooper and Slater and Gordon were given penalties, while a former Cooley associate was barred from the profession after being handed a prison sentence for fraud.
Browne Jacobson declined to comment.