Appeal allowed- 3/3/2011- Disciplinary Committee

On the 14 September 2010, the Disciplinary Committee excluded the member from membership, and ordered him to pay costs of £1,000. The committee recommended that there be no application for readmission to membership for a period of 2 years. The member appealed against exclusion on the grounds that in the circumstances it was too harsh.

On 3 March 2011 the Appeal Committee panel decided that the appellant’s appeal against exclusion on the grounds that in the circumstances it was too harsh was allowed, and the Panel substituted a severe reprimand and a fine of £1,000, and ordered the Appellant to pay the costs of the appeal assessed at £1,000.

In delivering the decision the Committee made the comment that: “He has explained to us today how he feels about what he did, and we have come to the conclusion that we can take a different view of the appellant’s understanding of the seriousness of what he did. We repeat that we do not criticise the DC in any way, and if anybody is to be blamed for the impression which the DC had of the views of the appellant it is the appellant himself...we consider that the appellant showed genuine remorse. We also accept that he does have a genuine appreciation of the seriousness of what he did. We do not think that he necessarily appreciated it at the time he did it, but we are sure he appreciates it now.

What is important to note in this case is that there was no finding of dishonesty in respect of the allegations. These related to the submission of accounts on behalf of  three limited companies to Companies House, which showed that each company had not traded when he knew that this was not the case, and improperly himself signed a director’s name as approving the accounts. It was found that he had provided estimates rather than deliberately altering them with the intent to deceive or mislead, he had a previous unblemished professional record and had not appreciated the seriousness of the complaint.