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City law firm partner struck off for exaggerating billings

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Tracey Ann Sheehan ordered to pay costs of £51,615

A City partner has been struck off the solicitors’ roll for inflating her billing figures when switching firms.

Tracey Ann Sheehan, 55, an equity partner and head of telecommunications law at Hill Dickinson, appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last week.

The tribunal found that Sheehan had dishonestly exaggerated her billings to become an equity partner at Dentons in 2015 in a move from Taylor Wessing. It also found that she had inflated her billings in a move from Dentons to Hill Dickinson in 2017.

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It found that between 2016 and 2017 Sheehan provided Hill Dickinson with a business plan and a schedule of billings as part of her move to become a partner. In the plan she had overstated her billings at her previous two firms — Taylor Wessing and Dentons — by between 177% and 572%, The Times reports.

In another instance, it was reported Sheehan billed £3,837 for work done at Taylor Wessing, but told Dentons she billed £220,000.

Sheehan told the tribunal that the figures given to Dentons did not represent the amount she billed but the amount she would have billed at Taylor Wessing had she had sufficient resources to do so. She said Dentons was aware of this when it took her on as a full equity partner.

The tribunal ordered Sheehan to pay £51,615 in costs after a four-day hearing.

The decision is open to appeal.

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