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Ban for paralegal who misled court over fee payment

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‘Altered’ email

A litigation paralegal who misled a court in a bid to prevent her client’s case from being struck out has been barred from working in the legal profession.

Sana Patel, a former employee at Leeds outfit Lowell Solicitors, was dealing with a debt recovery matter on behalf of a client when she discovered an important court fee had not been paid. The court subsequently confirmed the paralegal’s worst fears and that the client’s claim had been struck out.

Patel is then said to have “altered” the contents of an email pertaining to a separate matter in which she had successfully made payment of the court fee, in order to prove the payment had been made.

The court relied on the email, accepting that the court fee had been paid, and reinstated the client’s claim, according to an agreed outcome published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

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Patel later admitted to altering the email after the firm discovered the court fee had not been paid.

The firm subsequently made an application to the court, explaining the true facts and asked that the matter is struck out. The claim was struck out in November 2019.

Patel has now been hit with a section 43 order, which prevents her from working in a law firm without prior permission from the SRA. She must also pay the regulator’s cost of £300.

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