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Hannah Gannagé-Stewart

Deputy Editor, Solicitors Journal

Property lawyer struck off for altering dates

Property lawyer struck off for altering dates


Solicitor used Tipp-Ex to make 'quick fix' to dates on legal document

A property lawyer has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after amending the dates on both a fixed and floating charge he needed to register with Companies House.

Former Howell Jones solicitor Nicholas Gething had 21 days to register the details associated with two property transactions but missed the deadline due to the forms he sent being completed incorrectly.

Having run out of time to refile them, he used Tipp-Ex correcting fluid to alter the dates to appear as though they were within the deadline. He told the tribiunal he saw it as a “quick fix” to the problem.

The tribunal raised concerns over Gething’s apparent inability “to understand or appreciate the seriousness of what he had done”.

During his disciplinary hearing, Gething conceded that “he now realised his conduct had been wrong” and said he was “embarrassed for having got himself into this position, and that he had thought what he had done was right at the time”.

Unsatisfied that Gething grasped “the gravity of his actions”, the SDT said: “He did not seem to understand that it was inherently unacceptable to change the date on legal charges being filed on behalf of clients, and then present those charges to third parties as authentic copies of the originals, when they were not.”

Gething admitted that he had submitted falsified documents to the registrar and that his actions lacked integrity.

Although the SDT admitted the likelihood of Gething making the same mistake again was low, it said the misconduct was so serious he had to be struck off. He was also ordered to pay costs of £5,700.