Newly qualified solicitor wins employment case against firm that signed probation review without her knowledge 

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By Rhys Duncan on


In effect a ‘forgery’, tribunal finds

A newly qualified (NQ) solicitor has won an employment case against her former firm, which had signed a probation review document on her behalf.

Lauren Singh, who qualified as a solicitor in August 2020, took a job at Optimal Solicitors with less than a year’s post-qualification experience in September 2021.

Initially on a three-month probation in her new role, Singh attended an appraisal meeting in December 2021 to review her performance. But the written record of this meeting “did not accurately represent what was discussed” and “contained statements which were untrue,” the tribunal found.

The appraisal document stated that due to a complaint from a specific client, the client “terminated” their arrangement with the firm. The client’s actions had nothing to do with the complaint, according to the tribunal’s ruling. The probation review document also wrongly claimed that other clients had been lost due to a lack of response or minor complaints.

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The ruling goes on to reveal that the probation document stated that Singh and the firm had “mutually agreed” to extend her probation period by three months. This was not the case, the tribunal found.

Despite this, Singh’s name had been entered as if she had signed the form. The judge said that this action was essentially a “forgery, albeit an electronic one, and misrepresentation of what she had agreed to”.

Whilst Singh raised a range of complaints about workload, billing, file complexity and a general lack of support as part of her claim for constructive and wrongful dismissal, the focus of the tribunal’s decision was on the signature which amounted to “forgery”.

The signature was “an aspect of the conduct of the [firm] which, the Tribunal considers, if taken alone, regardless of whether there was any antecedent conduct which could contribute to a cumulative fundamental breach of contract on the part of the respondent, amounted in itself to a fundamental breach of the implied term of trust and confidence”.

“[T]he [firm] had, to a degree, so conducted itself in a manner, if not calculated to, likely to, destroy or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between employee and employer,” according to the ruling.

“It is hard to imagine anything more likely to seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence between employer and employee than forging internal documents to give a misleading impression of what was agreed in a meeting to consider extending the probationary period,” it continued.

The firm were ordered to pay Singh notice pay of £1,315.08, and return unlawful deductions from her wages of £973.03 and £255.

The firm’s claim to recover £2,401.97, the cost of the Singh’s practising certificate and a recruitment fee liable for repayment under the contract, was rejected on account of its actions and repudiatory breach of contract.



Ade Faleke

Why are you surprised? You should have deciphered his troll and negative comments from his last name, “O’Pomposity”. Who in their right senses comes online to leave snide comments/reply on another’s typographical error or unfairly criticises a lawyer for standing up for her right?! The opposite of pomposity will be modesty or humility. Unfortunately Archibald O’Pomposity lacks both, instead prides himself in his little understanding of the English language. Neither Ms Singh nor Nick deserves to be treated disparagingly in this manner. What a shame?! Shame on you Archibald!


Their actions were less than…optimal


Presumably this firm has self reported it’s appalling conduct to the SRA

Archibald O'Pomposity

“Presumably this firm has self reported it’s appalling conduct to the SRA”

You need to learn basic grammar if you don’t want to be the subject of sneers from clients, partners and judges. You only EVER use an apostrophe in “its” if the word is being used to abbreviate “it is” or “it has”. You should write this on a post-it and pin it to your laptop. I hope it helps – sincerely!

Deed U No

Even then – this firm still keeps advertising for the same role !

john burman

Silly comment Archibald

She quite properly brought a case against her former employers


And now wishes to get another job. Good luck on her.

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