Undertakings are to be treated seriously. An undertaking is a promise made by a solicitor that he will carry out or refrain from carrying out an act in circumstances where the recipient of the promise reasonably places reliance upon it.
An undertaking need not be in writing.
A breach of an undertaking can lead to disciplinary proceedings and would normally result in a rebuke or a fine by the SRA under its internal disciplinary powers in less serious cases or a fine by the SDT in more serious cases.
However, a case in which I appeared on behalf of the SRA resulted in the Respondent being struck off the Roll. In Law Society –v- Beller (2014) the Court said, “the whole point of the undertaking…. Was that the client had to have the solicitors word that the money would only be transferred upon his consent. By breaching that undertaking and not being in a position to perform that undertaking, there was, in my view, such a serious breach of Rules and the potential of such damage to the profession, that unless they were wholly extraordinary circumstances that was sufficient of itself for striking off the Roll”.
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“I never give reviews, but occasionally in life something or someone is so brilliant that a review is warranted and this is one such occasion.
Anyone reading this is no doubt facing a disciplinary action by the SRA or other professional body. I was facing a charge of dishonesty amongst other allegations and the stress over the two and a half years was immeasurable, it subsumed my life. Another solicitor recommended Jon and I engaged his services. It was the best thing I ever did. From the very first ‘phone call I knew that I had made the right decision. Jon was calm and measured. His knowledge of regulatory law is frankly outstanding. When dealing with my case I felt that I was his only client. He was honest, personable, down to earth and always on hand to guide me through the process, so I never felt alone.
My matter was referred to the SDT for a 3 day hearing and at that stage I just wanted to give up, but Jon’s wise counsel stopped me from doing so and I am so glad I followed his advice.
Jon’s advocacy is awesome. He completely demolished the SRA investigator under cross examination. I have honestly never seen anything like it. At that point I was so glad he was acting for me and not the SRA! The investigator even apologised to me twice during his evidence.
The SRA’s allegations were not proved and I walked away with my life back. I cannot recommend Jon highly enough. So if you are reading this and you are facing such actions then please do not hesitate and engage Jon, you will not regret it.”