News

DLA Piper associate struck off for concealing strike out

By on

Young real estate associate at international giant fabricated court documents

lead1

A young associate at global behemoth DLA Piper has been struck off for fabricating court documents to conceal the fact a client’s case had been struck out by the County Court.

Laura Catherine Holloway — who was a real estate associate at the corporate outfit at the time — failed to inform both her supervisor and client that the case had been struck out due to an unpaid fee.

According to a report in the Law Society Gazette, the 28 year-old, who was based at DLA’s office in Sheffield, where the firm was founded, was asked to meet with her supervising solicitor and a member of human resources, back in late 2013.

Following concerns from the client, the young lawyer reassured her bosses that an application to reinstate the case at Croydon County Court had been made — and following a short break of little under a quarter of an hour — presented two letters supporting her claim, dated the 24 June and 18 September 2013.

The client remained unconvinced and a subsequent internal investigation carried out by DLA Piper revealed that Holloway had not had any such correspondence with Croydon County Court staff. Admitting, at a further meeting with supervisors, that she had in fact fabricated the letters and application, the young associate was dismissed on the spot.

Things proceeded to go from bad to worse for the property lawyer when, having unsuccessfully appealed her dismissal, she was hauled before the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Holloway — who was admitted as a solicitor in 2011 — was subsequently charged by the regulator for her dishonesty and fabricating court documents.

Failing to appear at her Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) hearing today, Holloway was struck off and ordered to pay costs of £5,900 costs. The matter is open to appeal.