22 October 2020
Alan Bates admitted two allegations:
(1) Failing to behave with honesty and integrity, Principle 3, Outcomes 3.1 and 3.2 of the CILEx Code of Conduct
(2) Failing to maintain high standards of professional and personal conduct and justify public trust in you, your profession and the provision of legal services, Principle 2, Outcome 2.2 of the CILEx Code of Conduct
The particulars of the allegations are that between 25 July 2019 and 7 August 2019, in his capacity as a personal injury claims handler, Alan Bates pursued a course of conduct in which he misled or attempted to mislead the defendants’ solicitors who were acting for the defendant in a claim for personal injury following a road traffic accident namely by:
• Creating a letter on 6 August 2019 and backdating it to 26 July 2019 to give the impression that it had been sent on 26 July 2019 when he knew or believed this to be false.
• Emailing the defendant’s solicitors on 6 August 2019 to state explicitly that he had sent a letter and three witness statements to them on 26 July 2019 when he knew or believed this to be false.
• Deleting or obscuring the date of two witness statements to hide the fact that the statements had only been signed on 6 August 2019 and not by 26 July 2019, the day he had purported to send them.
On 23 April 2020 the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) made a finding of dishonesty against Mr Bates and made a control order under section 43 of the Solicitors Act 1974.
Alan Bates admitted both allegations and, in accordance with Rule 18(1) of the Enforcement Rules 2019 (ER), agreed to determine the allegations by consent and agreed a sanction that would be available to the Professional Conduct Panel or Disciplinary Tribunal.
Sanction – Indefinite exclusion
The sanction was approved by the Professional Conduct Panel in accordance with Rule 18(3) ER was excluded from CILEx membership for an indefinite period and is not permitted to apply for reinstatement for a period of TWO YEARS, or until such time as the SRA lift or amend the S43 order, whichever is sooner.