Your task, if you choose to accept it, is to identify the potential breaches of SRA rules and general law in the following case study.
You are a newly-qualified solicitor, working for a leading Exeter firm. You are acting for a super-wealthy EU citizen, who wishes to purchase property in England. The source of his wealth is not known and, so far, you have not been able to obtain any ID documents from him.
You find a suitable property in Essex, and at your own initiative (and without specific instructions) you have negotiated to purchase the property. Your supervising partner sends you to the client’s main residence in Romania to consult with him about the property and, if he wishes to go ahead, to get him to execute a contract of purchase, on Law Society standard terms.
You travel to the client’s residence, arriving late at night after a terrible journey. You keep receipts for all your travel expenses. The client approves the transaction and executes the documents that you present to him. You are forced to witness them, as no-one else appears to be present.
You are invited to stay at the residence. Unfortunately, you are attacked by three women, but then rescued by your client. You discover that you are being held prisoner, and that your client is presenting as a vampire. You are uncertain whether this is a protected characteristic for the purposes of anti-discrimination legislation.
You escape from the client’s residence, taking care to bring the conveyancing documents with you, and take refuge in a convent. You suffer a mental breakdown, and stay at the convent for several months. Having lost their main conveyancing client, your firm makes you redundant.
Eventually, you return to England. You discover that your former client is now residing in England. You join forces with several people who have been affected by your former client’s nefarious activities, and discuss with them all that you know about him. Through careful research, you discover that he owns several properties in London and elsewhere in the UK. You resolve to destroy your former client.
Eventually, you and your friends track him down, and you slash his throat with a knife, possibly decapitating him.
It seems to IP Draughts that this case study raises the following legal and regulatory compliance issues:
- Anti-money-laundering and terrorism laws
- SRA rules on know-your-client, acting in the client’s best interests, etc.
- Potential unexplained wealth orders
- Discrimination on religious or philosophical grounds
- Health and safety at work
- Unfair dismissal
- Breach of client confidentiality
- Conspiracy to murder
Has IP Draughts missed anything?
4 responses to “The perils of conveyancing”
Romania is not in the Schengen Area (but then neither is the UK), so there’s probably an evasion of passport controls here.
Yes, I’m not even sure if Whitby has an immigration office, though this report is encouraging.
I understand your client may have entered the country illegally, having been smuggled in as cargo.
Good point. But, at least until Brexit, there is free movement of people throughout the EU. Not sure if that extends to vampires.