Clyde & Co associate prosecuted for allegedly ignoring entire case
13 April 2017
A former Clyde & Co
associate is being prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for a series of misleading statements and failures while he worked at the firm's London office.
Rajpal Ahluwalia, a 10PQE who specialises in aviation and commercial litigation has been accused, essentially, of ignoring a case brought against one of the firm's clients from beginning to end. Ahluwalia allegedly failed to inform the client of the case within a reasonable time, or to take instructions from it in relation to a service of claim, two settlement offers, a judgment in default and a draft statutory demand sent to Clyde & Co. It is also alleged that Ahluwalia's failure to ensure a defence was filed resulted in the judgment in default which he then failed to set aside. But otherwise, it went well.
||Ahluwalia, allegedly ignoring the phone
Ahluwalia is also accused of sending a misleading email to an insurance broker, sending three letters to another firm which contained statements he knew were untrue and signing a statement of truth on behalf of a defendant which he knew they had not seen. And he is accused of stating that he was authorised to sign the statement of truth on his client's behalf without seeking or obtaining their authority. And of doing the same thing again the following year.
The alleged incidents began in 2013 and ended in 2014 when Clyde & Co spotted something was amiss and suspended Ahluwalia. A spokesman for the shipping, aviation and insurance specialist said the solicitor "was an associate in our London aviation team from July 2010 until November 2014
", but "he resigned from the firm following his suspension for an isolated matter that we identified and reported to the SRA. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time
Clyde & Co has had the SRA on speed dial recently, with the firm receiving the SDT's largest ever fine last week
for money laundering errors which led to three of its partners being fined £10,000 each. But otherwise, no issues.