SCAMMER SOLICITORS: British legal eagle fined after defrauding ‘vulnerable’ cancer sufferer

Croydon – VIJAY SHAH via NEIL ROSE and Legal Futures

A ‘dodgy’ solicitor who defrauded one of their clients for the sum of £175,000 (USD $222,775) to plug a hole in his firm’s accounts has been fined a total of £63,000 ($80,199) after being brought to book, according to legal website Legal Futures.

In October last year, the lawyer, Neil Adrian Aiston, was hauled in front of the regulatory agency the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after he persuaded one of his clients to give the £175,000 as an unsecured loan to another of the solicitor’s clients. The loaner was a longstanding user of Aiston’s services, having worked with the legal professional for thirty-five years, but was described as ‘vulnerable’, meaning they were at risk of being exploited due to their mental health issues. The client was also experiencing cancer, the Tribunal accepted.

Image: Hloom via Flickr / CC BY-SA, 401(K) 2013 hloom.com

 

Aiston, whose solicitors’ firm was facing troubles, alongside an unspecified outside ‘intervention’ into his business, took the money and instead used it to fill a hole in his office accounts instead. The hole came about after the lawyer took money from other clients for another loan he gave to another customer of his practice. Aiston failed to repay the loan and the client subsequently reported him to authorities.

Aiston was based in Croydon, just south of London, and had been a qualified practitioner since 1979. The client who lost their money told the Tribunal he felt ‘threatened, manipulated and groomed’ after Aiston pressured him into signing documents establishing the loan which he was unable to fully read. Aiston also told the client that he would not pay up the proceeds of a property transaction undertaken by the fraud victim unless he signed over the loan money, the Tribunal also heard. Aiston had explicit knowledge of the client’s health problems, yet continued with the deception.

A statement from the Tribunal said “[Mr Aiston] knew that he was in urgent need of funds as he was facing the prospect of an intervention. [He] has clearly considered that one way of achieving this was to ensure that Client 1 repay the monies that he owed…’

‘[His] conduct was about as dishonest as it could get. [He] had engineered this loan directly for his own benefit in an attempt to rectify the firm’s finances.”

Aiston was described as behaving with conduct that was “was about as dishonest as it could get”, and his failure to return the loan meant the client would now be seeking the money from the Solicitors Compensation Fund, according to Legal Futures.

In his witness statement, Aiston wrote: “I deeply regret the action I took and struggle to understand why I agreed to help a desperate client on that occasion when nearly 40 years’ practice told me not to do so.

‘All I can say is that I had known the client concerned for over 10 years, trusted his statements as to repayment, when I should not even have entertained his request, and as a result I will rightly be struck from the roll.

‘I did not benefit financially or in any other way, personal or through my firm.”

The Tribunal ruled that Aiston had acted when there was a conflict of interest and had been dishonest. He had ‘manipulated’ the client and had brought his profession into disrepute with his fraudulent actions.

In addition to the huge fine, the SDT ordered that Neil Adrian Aiston be struck off from the solicitors’ register and the fraudster was also found guilty of breaching accounting regulations and failing in his professional duties as a certified legal practitioner.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Eli Pressman, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/BarnetWills

“Solicitor “about as dishonest as it could get”” – Neil Rose, Legal Futures/Legal Futures Publishing Limited (3 October 2018) https://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/solicitor-about-as-dishonest-as-it-could-get

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Paying with $100 Bills – Businessman Transaction” – Hloom Templates, Flickr (15 July 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/95051110@N07/28394541020

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MEETINGS & TAXES: tax legal conference in London later this month

London – VIJAY SHAH

 

The International Bar Association (IBA), a worldwide club for legal professionals and bar societies is hosting its Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference later this month here in London, at the etc.venues conference centre in Fenchurch Street, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

The IBA’s conference, now in its seventh year, will bring together the best minds in tax and legal subjects. The event will attract a significant number of lawyers in the fields of tax, corporate, finance and banking law, as well as bankers, economists and accountants to central London to explore all the latest news and advances in corporate finance, tax and capital markets today.

Running over just two days on the 29-30th January 2018, the 7th Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference will cover topics such as updates on European and US global developments; financing issues and trends; M&A; tax administration and debt workouts, among many others.

Managed by conference chairperson Jack Bernstein of Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis, the summit will feature speakers from across the globe, with the majority flying in from the Continent and North America. The event is also being promoted by a team of big name sponsors from the legal world, including Maisto e Associati, Bloomberg Tax, Linklaters, CMS and Duff & Phelps, with firm support from the International Law Office.

SOURCES:

International Bar Association, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/internationalbarassociation/

“7th Annual IBA Finance & Capital Markets Tax Conference” – International Bar Association https://www.ibanet.org/Conferences/conf856.aspx

“About the IBA” – International Bar Association https://www.ibanet.org/About_the_IBA/About_the_IBA.aspx

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Logo of the International Bar Association.jpg” – Timlicence, Wikimedia Commons (16 March 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Logo_of_the_International_Bar_Association.jpg

5G WORLD: Post-Brexit strategies webinar

gb

London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH

KNect365, a subsidiary business of leading multinational events company Informa, is releasing a webinar for telecoms organisations figuring out their next steps in the aftermath of the 24th June referendum that saw the United Kingdom vote by a slim margin to leave the European Union.

In what is an uncertain time for many British businesses, the webinar, which is being held as part of Informa’s telecoms.com e-magazine, will help players in the telecommunications industry explore their post-Brexit strategies, as upcoming negotiations over the UK’s eventual status concerning the EU leave the country’s firms wondering what is in their future, and the direction of the national and international telecoms market.

 

 

Currently the UK regulatory framework for telecommunications is partly underpinned by the EU Regulatory Framework with Ofcom acting as national regulatory body for companies based here such as Sky and TalkTalk. Should the UK Parliament honour the outcome of the referendum and trigger Article 50 for withdrawal from the EU, then it is expected that all telecoms regulation will pass completely to Ofcom.

In addition to regulation, UK telecoms firms are also concerned about other implications post-Brexit, such as increased roaming charges for British tourists travelling in the EU and the termination of EU funding which support research and development for 5G networks in British laboratories and investment into alternative network providers.

The webinar, entitled What’s Your Post-Brexit Strategy?” will also examine other core issues such as the impact of Brexit on fixed and mobile phone operators, corporate preparation work in regards to the split from the EU and the potential changes in Ofcom’s regulatory set-up and directives once EU law ceases to be valid here.

Speakers lined up to offer their advice at the webinar include Mike Conradi, a partner with law firm DLA Piper UK LLP, who specialises in dispensing commercial and regulatory advice to telecoms firms. His speciality is regulatory matters, telecoms and IT outsourcing and in telecoms infrastructure projects. Joining him will be Malcolm Corbett, the chief executive officer of Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA), the trade association for private, public and community sector organisations building next generation fibre and wireless broadband networks in the UK, and Informa’s own Tim Skinner, head of intelligence for telecoms.com, who is in charge of  delivering editorial content on client services, such as white papers, reports, webinars and surveys.

The event is free of charge but requires registration via KNect365. It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 3 pm British Summer Time, lasting one hour. To register, please see the sources link below.

DISCLAIMER: The writer is an employee of KNect365.
SOURCES:
Informa Accounts, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/informa-accounts
5G World Series, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/5GWorldSeries
“Event Registration” – Knect365 & telecoms.com via ON24 https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&partnerref=KNect365&eventid=1226515&sessionid=1&key=61D49E9A99BB88FDC13D0053BF883671&regTag=&sourcepage=register
IMAGE CREDIT:
5G World Series, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/5GWorldSeries