SDT SHOWS CLEMENCY TO SOLICITOR WHO BACKDATED LETTER

SDT SHOWS CLEMENCY TO SOLICITOR WHO BACKDATED LETTER

A solicitor who backdated a letter as part of a relief from sanctions application has been permitted to remain in practice. See here for the Law Society Gazette Article.

Naomi Duxbury Tetley, who had practised as a solicitor since 2010, backdated the letter to avoid a professional negligence action. She was said to have been in an extreme panic and suffering from personal problems.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard medical evidence about her lack of sleep and that she was working when not actually fit to do so.

Duxbury Tetley admitted to backdating the letter before signing the statement of truth in support of the application for relief from sanctions. Prior thereto she admitted to having created the letter which misled her own counsel and opposing counsel. She resigned from her firm, Mewies Solicitors, immediately upon her admission.

This is the only decision I can recall where a solicitor was not struck off for fabricating a document to cover a mistake. If you look at the commentary to the above article there is some surprise and dismay.

However rather than the medical evidence and mitigation, perhaps what was crucial is that Duxbury Tetley did not sign the statement of truth and admitted her action.

She will only be able to practice under the supervision of a solicitor with at least 10 years practising experience.