Date
9 September 2021

Sanction
Indefinite exclusion

Details of conduct

The CILEx Regulation Disciplinary Tribunal (DT) heard the following two charges of professional misconduct against Emma Beddows:

1. Whilst a Fellow of CILEX, Emma Beddows failed to maintain high standards of professional and personal conduct and justify public trust in herself, her profession and the provision of legal services, by engaging in conduct that could undermine or affect adversely the confidence and trust placed in her and her profession by her client, her employer, professional colleagues, the public and others, contrary to Principle 2, Outcome 2.2 of the CILEx Code of Conduct 2015; and,  failed to behave with honesty and integrity, contrary to Principle 3, Outcomes 3.1 and 3.2 of the CILEx Code of Conduct 2015;

In that in or around September 2018, while employed as a salaried partner and head of the private client department at Kerwoods Solicitors LLP, she:

  • misappropriated £97,077.10 from her client’s probate estate; and
  • fabricated a letter of gift dated 1 March 2017 in an attempt to conceal her conduct

in consequence of which another regulator, namely the Solicitors Regulation Authority, found it undesirable for her to be involved in legal practice and on 18 April 2021 made her the subject of a control Order under s.43 of the Solicitors Act 1974.

2.  Whilst a Fellow of CILEX, Emma Beddows failed to comply with her legal and regulatory obligations and deal with her regulator openly, promptly and co-operatively, contrary to Principle 4, Outcome 4.1 of the CILEx Code of Conduct 2019, in that she failed to notify CILEx Regulation in writing at the earliest opportunity of the investigation into her fitness to practise by another regulator, namely the Solicitors Regulation Authority, thereby breaching Rules 11(1)(g) and 12(2) of the CILEx Regulation Enforcement Rules 2019 and 2020.

Outcome

The DT found the charges proven on the balance of probabilities and ordered Emma Beddows’ immediate exclusion from CILEX membership for an indefinite period, with a direction that there be no application for readmission for a minimum of 10 years.