A former partner of Andersons Solicitors has been fined £2,000 and asked to pay further costs of £3,000 after admitting failings in over 100 conveyancing transactions.
Ms Emma Kate Dancer was a solicitor and then partner at the now defunct Andersons Solicitors, which closed in 2013. She says she does not intend to practice again.
Between 2005 and 2009 the Solicitors Regulation Authority say Ms Dancer: “failed to report material facts to lender clients and/or failed to comply with lender client instructions (including those in the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook) in the manner and circumstances set out at paragraph 7.2 below in over 100 transactions in the period 2005 – 2009.”
These material facts included:
- That deposit monies had been paid to her firm by third parties rather than being provided directly by the borrower;
- That they were lending sums to borrower clients where the owner or registered proprietor had been the owner for less than six months;
- That they were lending sums significantly in excess of prices which had been paid to buy the same properties very recently (and in all such cases within the 6 months prior to the relevant Transaction on which Ms Dancer was instructed).
- Variation between the amount actually paid to the vendor and the amount stated as the purchase price on the Certificate of Title provided to Ms Dancer’s lender client.
Some of the transactions took place before she became a partner at the firm, whilst some took place after. Ms Dancer put her failings down to the pressure of work, a simple lack of knowledge and being unable to cope.