News

Junior lawyer avoids strike off over ‘brutal’ assault

By on

Adeel Saghir, 31, suspended for 30 months despite being jailed for GBH

A personal injury lawyer has avoided being struck off despite taking part in an assault that left a 47-year-old man in hospital with a brain haemorrhage.

Adeel Saghir, 31, was convicted for grievous bodily harm after he and four other men beat up “Person A” for keying Saghir’s car. Saghir was sentenced to two years and eight months and was released on licence in February.

But after representing himself at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal this month, Saghir emerged with a two-and-half-year suspension.

At the time of the incident in May 2019, Saghir was working at Aman Solicitors Advocates in Wembley, north west London.

At 4.30am on the night of 4 May, the young solicitor woke up to discover Person A keying his car with a screwdriver, seemingly motivated by a family feud. Saghir and several other men chased Person A down and a fight broke out in which the victim was struck 80 times over ten minutes.

The victim spent two weeks in hospital where he suffered a subdural haemorrhage, and has “lasting side effects” from his injuries.

The tribunal found that Saghir had punched Person A three times and kicked him while on the ground, albeit with bare feet.

Saghir pleaded guilty to GBH without intent. Passing sentence at Luton Crown Court last year, HHJ Herbet called the offence “a brutal and sustained assault” on “a man who clearly at your (the defendants) mercy”.

Saghir’s personal involvement was “lesser” compared to the others but still “played a part in an extremely serious group attack”.

Defending himself before the tribunal, Saghir told the panel that his guilty plea was an indication of his honesty and integrity. He accepted that his actions “fell far below the high standards to which he held himself”, but was “an unrepeated and isolated incident”.

The tribunal found that this was no minor infraction, but a “very serious offence of violence”. It added that “as a personal injury lawyer he [Saghir] should have been aware that this was a departure from the ethical standards of the profession”.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Saghir “could rightly be said to lack moral soundness, rectitude and steady adherence to an ethical code”.

When it came to punishment, the tribunal assessed both his culpability and the harm caused as high. Mitigating factors — Saghir had self-reported to the regulator, cooperated with the investigation, shown genuine remorse and had no previous disciplinary record — could only be given “limited weight”.

But it nevertheless concluded that this mitigation, combined with the “complicated family circumstances which had been at the heart of the offence”, was enough to justify a suspension rather than a strike-off.

The panel also noted that Saghir “had only 2 years post qualification experience when he committed the offence and he was still a young man with many years of his working life ahead of him”.

It accordingly suspended him for two and a half years with effect from 4 June 2021, and ordered him to pay £3,600 in costs.

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter

Related Stories