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Dodgy Solicitor Top Trumps

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Dodgy Solicitor overcharged by 870%
28 October 2016
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The newest Dodgy Solicitor overcharged a client by more than 800% and drew up a fake ledger to fool the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Charles Rhodes, the senior partner of Rotherham firm Gichard & Co, was acting as an executor of a deceased man's estate when the grandson, a beneficiary, began to suspect that the 17 bills Rhodes had sent didn't reflect what he was actually charging. When the SRA came knocking, Rhodes showed investigators a spreadsheet which supported his total costs of £170,250. However, when they checked with the firm's cashier, they discovered that he had actually taken £437,125.

In another case the probate lawyer was found to have gouged £37,906 in costs from an estate worth £83,000. There were no complicating factors to justify charging 45% of its value, and a costs lawyer estimated that a reasonable fee would have been £3,450. Equating to a punchy 870% markup by Rhodes. Found to have overcharged by 267% in a third matter, he admitted to the SRA that he had "over-egged it".

    Close enough

Rhodes, whose 125-year-old firm was shut down as a result of his mercenary billing practices, was charged with multiple dishonesty offences at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Representing himself, he confessed that he "panicked" and that the spreadsheet was a "work of fiction" he had spent three days preparing. But he maintained that although he he had been "manifestly stupid", he was "a fool not a knave" and innocent of dishonesty. Despite also arguing that he was under pressure "at the time" (quite a long time given that  the offences were committed over a ten year period), Rhodes was found guilty on all counts and struck off.

  

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anonymous user
29/10/2016 08:20
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He is the son of a Tory Knight, the late Basil Rhodes, who was good friends with John Major. Charles has ruined many people's lives with his corruption and dishonesty. Hopefully there will now be criminal proceedings against him and he will have to do some bird. A serious fall from grace for an Etonian.