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Former SNP MP guilty of professional misconduct

15 January 2019 14:12
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Former SNP MP guilty of professional misconduct

Former Scottish MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh has been found guilty of professional misconduct over her handling of a trust at a law firm where she was a partner.

The SNP member was brought before a tribunal along with fellow solicitor Alan Mickel, with whom she ran the now defunct Hamilton Burns.

The case centred on a trust set up in May 2012 on behalf of Mr Mickel’s sister, which he believed to be a “private, family matter” but in legal terms was considered a client of the firm, it was heard.

The Law Society said Mr Mickel and Ms Ahmed-Sheikh showed “disregard for the rules” when they failed to keep proper accounts of the trust and sums were borrowed from the fund when it was not in the practice of lending money.

Their actions constituted a conflict of interest and risked undermining public confidence in the profession, it said.

At a hearing in Perth on Tuesday, Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) chairman Nicholas Whyte said it had found both guilty of professional misconduct.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was a partner at Hamilton Burns and held the title of cash room manager before her resignation in May 2015, when she was elected MP for Ochil and South Perthshire.

An inspection of the firm raised concerns in October 2015 and Mr Mickel resigned that December.

The Law Society accepted the pair’s belief the trust was not a client of the firm was “genuine but erroneous”.

It was agreed there was no suggestion of dishonesty or personal benefit.

Source: irishexaminer.com

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