Solicitors' practice is shut down

A solicitors' practice has been forced to close down by the industry watchdog.

Wednesday, 7th December 2016, 3:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:32 pm
Mark Smith

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has intervened into the practice of Mark Smith and Kathleen Wilson at GS Law Northwest Ltd.

They had been trading as Singleton Day Solicitors, on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton.

But the intervention by the SRA on November 22 meant it had to close immediately and all its documents, papers and money had to be handed over, including those belonging to clients.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kathleen Wilson

The practising certificates of Mr Smith and Mrs Wilson have been suspended, so they cannot practise as solicitors.

The reason for the intervention has not been made public by the SRA.

However, they did say that Mr Smith and Mrs Wilson, managers of the firm, had failed to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011, the SRA Principles 2011 and the SRA Code Of Conduct 2011.

An SRA spokesman said: “At this stage of the SRA’s work, no further details can be disclosed. It is only if disciplinary proceedings become necessary that any information is released into the public domain.

Kathleen Wilson

“The SRA will now complete its investigation and decide on the appropriate course of action. There is no timescale for how long this work will take.”

Disciplinary proceedings could be a sanction carried out by the SRA and could be a reprimand or £2,000 fine.

If it is decided that a stiffer punishment is needed, the SRA will prosecute the matter at the independent solicitors disciplinary tribunal.

Singleton Day Solicitors dealt in family law, conveyancy, employment law, personal injury, wills and probate.

The firm was established as Goddard Smith in 2008, but was rebranded last summer.

The Singleton Day office in Pemberton is now home to Allansons Solicitors.

When contacted by the Observer, a member of staff said they were a “completely separate company” and not linked to Singleton Day.

However, both Mr Smith and Mrs Wilson appear on Allansons’ website and are named as directors.

An agent has been appointed to deal with matters held by GS Law Northwest Ltd/Singleton Day Solicitors.

If anyone has a query, they can contact the agent, Neil Boland of Stephensons Solicitors on 01942 777943.