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Solicitors Disciplinary Defence

Led by Ian Ryan, our Solicitors Disciplinary Defence team are specialists in undertaking defence work for individual solicitors and firms.

Ian, who has over 20 years' experience of solicitors' disciplinary work, is one of the small number of lawyers specialising in SRA investigations. He brings to this area the unique insight he gained as a member of the SRA's panel of prosecuting solicitors between 1997 and 2012.

Ian is also a specialist in money laundering. He was previously a member of the Law Society's Money Laundering taskforce and remains on the Law Society's special panel of solicitors advising members of the profession on AML issues. He also revised the money laundering chapter for the Solicitors Handbook 2015 (Hopper and Treverton-Jones). He continues to advise solicitors and other professionals on complying with AML regulations; making suspicious activity reports to the NCA; and the operation of the money laundering regime.

Ian Ryan is assisted by John Martyn, a Senior Associate who has many years' experience of acting for solicitors and Jennifer Harper and Melanie Zwennes, who regularly assist with casework.

The team can help at every stage of the process, from an initial interview with an investigating officer or an inspection of the firm's books of account, through to contested hearings. They have acted on many matters which have been concluded without misconduct findings or a referral to the SDT.

The team also advises on issues of legal professional privilege; dealing with production orders from the police and Section 2 Notices from the Serious Fraud Office; responding to Section 44b Notices from the SRA; and on any other issue where a solicitors' firm has to deal with a regulator or enforcement agency.

 

Examples of the team's recent work are:

Acting for two partners at a multi-national city firm on a serious SRA investigation that was concluded without any finding of misconduct or sanction.

Currently acting for a partner of a city firm facing serious allegations of misuse of client funds.

Acting for a partner at a city firm facing allegations of misleading a court. The investigation was concluded without any finding of misconduct or sanction.

Acting for a partner at a city firm facing allegations of dishonesty. The investigation was concluded without any finding of misconduct or sanction.

Acting for a partner at a city firm facing allegations of misusing confidential information when moving from one city firm to another. The investigation concluded with an internal SRA rebuke.

Acting for a senior solicitor at a city firm facing allegations of dishonesty arising from a compromise agreement when moving from one city firm to another. The team was instructed after the solicitor had been referred to the SDT and the referral was rescinded after representations to the SRA on the operation of the solicitor's own legal professional privilege.

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Ian Ryan

Ian Ryan : Partner