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City firm and former partner charged by SRA over events from 2015
13 May 2024

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to pursue City firm Candey through the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over matters dating back nine years. The regulator said in a statement today it has decided to prosecute Candey Limited and its former partner Richard Morris.

The SRA said it has certified that there is a case to answer in respect of allegations relating to events from May and June 2015. It is alleged the firm failed to ensure that adequate source of funds information was obtained, as required by money laundering regulations, in relation to expected settlement monies.

It is also alleged that Candey failed to ensure that no transfers took place in relation to the settlement monies, despite the lack of adequate source of funds information. In June 2015, it is alleged that the firm authorised the transfer of part of the settlement monies.

Morris, now a director with City firm Radius Law Limited, is alleged to have failed to obtain adequate information relating to the source of funds and authorised the ongoing transfer of part of the settlement monies. He is also charged with using the client account as a banking facility.

No further details have been provided by the SRA about the client or their settlement. It is understood, however, that the matter in question was a multi-million settlement from an international arbitration.

The allegations against Candey and Morris are subject to a hearing before the SDT and are as yet unproven.

Candey describes itself as an ‘elite disputes law firm’ specialising in high value commercial litigation, arbitration and complex regulatory disputes in London, New York and Vienna.

In a statement, a spokesman for the firm said: ‘The SRA wrongfully allege that Candey should have done more to verify the source of funds and should not have authorised onward payment. Candey’s position is that it did everything it could to verify the source and the detailed settlement agreement and acted entirely properly. There is no allegation that the monies were proceeds of crime and the SRA do not identify what further verification should have been undertaken in circumstances where it is accepted that the proceeds were genuine proceeds of settlement of an arbitration. 

‘Candey look forward to a just resolution of a decision which could have a significant impact on the litigation and arbitration community in terms of what actions should be taken on receipt of settlement funds.’

Morris, who left the firm in 2018, has been approached for comment.

Source: The Law Society Gazette, 13 May 2024

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