• Monday, September 25, 2023

NEWS

Solicitor struck off roll for breach of code of conduct

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A SOLICITOR found guilty of misrepresentation of facts and breaching code of conduct has been struck off the roll.

Neelash Mehta was found driving a vehicle while being disqualified from doing so following his conviction for drunk driving. Later he was found to have concealed his conviction while entering into a contract with a firm.

In 2016, he drove a vehicle after consuming alcohol beyond the permissible limit and was barred from driving for a year.

Mehta repeated the office two years later and was disqualified again – this time for 40 months.

On at least four occasions between October 2018 and September 2019, he drove his vehicle while being disqualified from driving, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard.

During his second disqualification period, he declared twice to his employer Ashfords that he had a valid driving licence to make expenses claims of a total of £63.9. His defence was that his wife was driving the vehicle at the time.

When his company Kaelaar Limited entered into a contract for services with remote working firm Keystone in 2020, he misrepresented that he had not been convicted of a criminal offence and that he had not been subject to any disciplinary procedures or investigation by any former firm or employer.

The tribunal rejected his argument that he had signed the contract without fully reading it.

Mehta “wished to maintain his reputation and income at Ashfords and did not want to jeopardise his ability to continue to earn money with Keystones”, the tribunal said.

“He knew when he signed the expenses forms that the declarations he made were untrue. He also knew, having read the contract, that the warranties that he gave to Keystones were also untrue,” it said.

Mehta, who has about 20 years of experience in the legal profession, has also been ordered to pay £27,000 in costs.

[TheChamp-Sharing]

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