DLA junior associate struck off for faking documents
01 April 2016
A DLA Piper
junior associate has been struck off for faking court documents.
28-year-old Laura Holloway was working in the firm's Sheffield office in 2013 when her supervisor called her in for a meeting with the office HR director following a concerned call from a client.
The client had discovered that his case has been struck out of the county court, but Holloway had not told him. Or the firm. When quizzed, the 2PQE solicitor admitted that the claim had been thrown out because she had failed to pay a court fee or respond to a Notice to Pay. But she said that she had submitted a reinstatement application. After leaving the meeting for 15 minutes to find the documents, reports the Law Gazette
, Holloway returned with copies of the application and two letters she sent to Croydon County Court.
Except she hadn't sent them, as a subsequent internal investigation by DLA discovered. When management called her in again, she told them that she had "reproduced
" the documents, although in fact they were the only ones that had existed. Confessing that she had been dishonest, she said there were "mitigating factors
||"This is a great idea. This is definitely a great idea."
Holloway was sacked on the spot, but appealed the decision. She lost and the firm reported her to the SRA, which referred her to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on the basis of several allegations
, including failing to act in the best interests of her client, failing to provide a proper standard of service and failing to act with integrity. Holloway did not cooperate with the investigation or attend her hearing, and this week was struck off the roll and ordered to pay £5,900 costs.
A spokeswoman for DLA Piper declined to comment. Meanwhile, DLA Gashgate parter Nick West awaits his turn
in the SDT spotlight.