A Birmingham solicitor who was a director at collapsed law firm James Pearce has been struck off after allegations of dishonesty were upheld.
John James, aged 46, was struck off the solicitors roll by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after “sprinkling confusion around the tribunal like confetti”, legal documents show.
The firm, with offices in Great Barr, Ward End and Walmley, closed in February with around 50 staff laid off. Thousands of files were handed over to other solicitors in Birmingham.
In its adjudication, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that dishonesty had occurred “over a period of time” and rejected an appeal from Mr James’ solicitor Gareth Edwards for suspension of the order pending an appeal.
It said that the Mr James’s evidence was “muddled and unconvincing” and later added: “The account ... of the respondent was illogical, did not fit with the documents on file or the order of events and sprinkled confusion around the tribunal like confetti in an attempt to defend the allegations.”
The tribunal ruled: “He (Mr Edwards) submitted that it was in everyone’s interests that the matter be examined afresh. The tribunal considered that dishonesty having been found proved, its obligation to protect the public made it inappropriate to suspend the order and refused the application.”
In an application for costs, Jayne Willetts, for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, applied for £13,908.78.
The allegations made against Mr James were that “he permitted and/or caused a false representation to be made to the Solicitors Regulation Authority” and “fabricated an attendance note”.
Mr James could not be contacted for comment.