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Punishment enough?

There should be clearer obligations on regulators to notify the most serious failures of lawyers, writes Jean-Yves Gilg

11 September 2017

Four hundred hours. That’s the time former solicitor Christopher Greenman effectively billed for dealing with a deceased client’s probate. The fee amounted to £90,000 for an estate valued at just under £371,000. That’s a lot more than the 3 per cent agreed when the will was drawn up. Nine times as much. Last week, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that the amount was excessive for what was a relatively simple matter, and that Greenman knew it. The 49-year-old was struck off for dishonesty.

At the time of the event, Greenman had been qualified for just over ten years and he had a “previously unblemished record”. But leniency is a rare currency at the SDT. A stain-free professional career helps but it is by no means a get-out-of-jail-free card – and rightly so.

Philanthropic aspirations don’t usually help much either. In an agreed outcome with the So...

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