City lawyer reaches “settlement agreement” with regulator to avoid disciplinary tribunal
A young partner at Hill Dickinson has been fined £1,000 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) after being involved in a “domestic incident”.
Darren Wall (pictured below), a commodities specialist at the Liverpool-based firm’s City of London office, pleaded guilty to common assault at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court in September 2014, following his arrest earlier that year.
Wall — who was admitted as a solicitor in 2008 and spent three years as an associate at Holman Fenwick Willan before making the switch to Hill Dickinson — received a 12 month community order, 12 months supervision, 20 sessions of an “integrated domestic abuse module” and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Striking an agreement with the SRA earlier this month — which was published on Wednesday — Wall accepted that he had failed to “uphold the rule of law” and “behaved in a way that diminishes the trust that the public places in him”. Accepting a fine of £1,000 and agreeing to pay his regulatory body’s costs amounting to £1,500, Wall avoided a referral to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).
In mitigation, the report claimed Wall had “co-operated with his regulator” fully and “shown remorse” for his actions. The SRA decision reveals that despite the “complainant not supporting the prosecution”, Wall pleaded guilty and disclosed his arrest immediately to Hill Dickinson. According to the report, his firm — that offers around 14 training contracts annually — was “aware of the conviction and have confirmed their support for him”.
Wall, who completed his law degree at the University of Southampton, kept the SRA updated at every stage, while his probation officer had “provided a positive update” regarding Wall’s compliance with his 80 hours unpaid work.
If Wall fails to comply with the agreement he could still be hauled before the SDT.
When contacted by Legal Cheek, Wall declined to comment.