Bad Lawyers

Scottish Lawyer Loses License for Overcharging Clients
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Scotland money

Summary: A law firm in Scotland has been shut down after it was found the firm was overcharging clients and taking money from the trusts.

After overcharging clients by over £100,000, a partner in a Scottish law firm has been found guilty of professional misconduct. Philip Hogg, 50, had his certificate to practice suspended for five years by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT).

  
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Hogg’s firm, Alder Hogg, had been claiming fees that they were “not entitled” to by overcharging their clients. His partner in the firm Alison Greer, who happened to be his twin sister, was also a participant in the scheme.

In 2007, Greer failed to respond to correspondence by the SSDT and thus became the subject of a complaint. The complaint was abandoned once it was determined that Greer’s husband had hidden the letters from her. He is not a lawyer but serves as the firm’s cashier and office manager. The firm kept him as an employee despite this until in 2012 when a judicial ruling required a high degree of supervision to be placed on him.

The complaint against Hogg is that between 2002 and 2011, the firm took fees including VAT of roughly £220,000 from a couple’s executry, of which they firm had already overcharged by £90,000. It was determined that three other clients suffered similar circumstances.

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Hogg claimed to have no knowledge of what was going on, including the complaint against his sister and brother-in-law but admits he should have been more aware of what was going on. He ended up pleading guilty to professional misconduct, losing his firm, career, and livelihood for a minimum of five years. The tribunal found that it was his obligation to ensure his firm was meeting the laws and regulations.

Do you think Greer and her husband should face harsher punishments or is it Hogg’s responsibility to monitor the balances of his firm? Tell us in the comments below.



To learn more about other bad lawyers, read these articles:

Lawyer Indicted for Witness Tampering in Anti-Muslim Hate Crime

One Lawyer Sues Another After Physical Confrontation Last Year at Hearing

West Orange Lawyer Gets Owned After Sending Annoying Cease and Desist Letter

Photo: flickr.com



 

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