New approach of linking sanction to salary
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has imposed a hefty fine of almost £14,000 on a solicitor convicted of drink-driving.
The sizeable financial penalty comes after the regulator tweaked its approach to punishing solicitors for certain types of misconduct. One notable change is the ability to link fines with solicitors’ salaries.
The SRA’s decision notice states that Richard Lunn, a director of Grimsby outfit Haywood Lunn & Allen, pleaded guilty to driving a car while under the influence of alcohol in November 2022.
The solicitor was fined £437 and disqualified from driving for 19 months, reduced by 19 weeks following successful competition of a driving rehabilitation course.
Lunn promptly notified the SRA of his arrest and subsequent conviction.
The regulator has now dished its own punishment, fining Lunn a hefty £13,836 — a record sanction for drink driving. Prior to the changes, fines for this type of offence would normally sit at around £2,000 mark.
The SRA initially imposed a fine of £17,295, however this was reduced on account of Lunn’s genuine remorse, early guilty plea and full cooperation with the regulator’s investigation.
Lunn also agreed to pay £1,350 costs.