£1,500 fine for criminal solicitor who made ‘inappropriate’ social media posts about client cases

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Some disclosed ‘confidential information’

A criminal solicitor who posted “inappropriate and puerile” comments on social media about his clients’ cases has been fined by the regulator.

Harmal Singh Paul, a sole practitioner of Paul & Co Solicitors in Dudley, West Midlands, made over 130 posts on social media between November 2015 and September 2016 when he attended a police station, prison or court, often stating where he was and the criminal charge he was there to advise on.

Twenty-one of these posts included “inappropriate comments or emoji icons”, according to a regulatory settlement agreement published last week by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). It provided the four following examples:

“‘From Attempted Murder at Smethwick’ followed by two emoji icons to depict crying with laughter”.

“DV [Domestic Violence]…Christmas Coming Up…What you Expect”.

“‘Drugs’. When another person commented ‘What kind? Lol x’, Mr Paul responded ‘Not From the Pharmacy That’s For Sure pmsl’ followed by various emoji icons depicting crying with laughter”.

“‘Sexual Assault’ followed by two emoji icons with a sad face and a tear”.

In two social media posts during the same period, the regulator said Paul had “disclosed specific, confidential information about a client matter”.

Paul, who qualified in 2006, admitted that by posting the “inappropriate and puerile comments”, some of which “trivialised serious criminal charges”, he had failed to behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in him and in the provision of legal services.

In mitigation, the solicitor said he had cooperated with the SRA’s investigation and deleted all of the relevant social media posts.

He was rebuked, fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £600 in costs.

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Dr Fran

I instructed Paul (sad emoji)



Pathetic waste of the SRA resources.



Top solicitor.



“‘Yet another Legal Cheek article about retention rates’ followed by two emoji icons with a facepalm”.



He can always join the police.



This is no worse than what many barristers post on Twitter. Often multiple times a day.

They both equate ‘Likes’ and pixels on the screen with happiness, safety and acceptance. Tragic.



The difference is barristers are likely to be posting about matters that have been heard in open court.




Cringeworthy public tweets I’ve read from a QC included jokingly wondering how to kill a 10 year old boy who took an interest in his daughter, seeking sympathy from Twitter when said daughter was bullied online whilst the iPad became used a as babysitter, waxing lyrical on the ‘wonders of diversity’ when they saw Polish pickles in the supermarket and wishing a happy anniversary to their wife whilst also stating that she ‘could do better’ than him.

Yes. Yes she could.



Don’t see anything wrong with any of those comments? Perfectly compatible with the right to free speech.



Same with whatever Sham Uddin types I suppose?


Fuken snowflakes… let the man work, jesus…



What a joke, SRA you humourless c*nts.



Think it was posting stuff which disclosed client’s identities that was the problem. The better written original article from the Law Society Gazette last week, which Legal Cheek C & Ped from makes it clear that was the SRA’s main problem with it. 150 odd of his posts were ok. The action was take in relation to about 20 of them.



Says someone who has never been near a police station. You do know that the majority of people interviewed are never charged? In murder investigations it is common for the police to interview all witnesses under caution as they do not know at the time who is a witness and who is a suspect. Still I’m sure your idea of naming witnesses on twitter will really encorage them to come forward.



Is he a barrister or a solicitor advocate? Describes himself as both.



Oh my god, so thankful someone else doesn’t like him! So bloody annoying.

Cringeworthy or what.



I have a TC offer from Skadden and an offer from Paul & Co Solicitors. Which one should I go for?



Cliff. Edge.



Paul. Weiss.



Train at Paul and Co. You can always move to the US firm post qualification.



Top bantz. 10/10.



Why the Sham posts gone?



When a White QC types up his internal stream of consciousness on Twitter, he’s merely exercising ‘free speech’.

When an Asian barrister does the same, he’s labelled ‘moronic’ and an ‘embarrassment’ by the wider profession.


Deed U No

…and they get the jobs….!


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