Many organisations were highlighted for being non-compliers. An Australian Law firm Slater and Gordon’s ill-fated £637 million acquisition of the professional services division of the British insurance outsourcer Quindell plc in 2015 has gained a great deal of negative attention since a couple of years.
Right after the purchase, both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Serious Fraud Office started to probe Quindell’s accounting activities, caused by PwC’s identification of behaviour that was “at the aggressive end of acceptable practice”. Slater and Gordon’s share price resulted in losing 90% of its value in the eight months following the acquisition. In June 2017, it claimed for breach of warranty and also for fraudulent misrepresentation against Watchstone Group Plc.
Breaching confidential information
In March, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) fined two branches of Slater and Gordon a record £40,000. It demanded the cost £26,000 which it has to pay for breaching the principles during the takeover:
Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Ltd fined £40,000 for “disclosing un-redacted confidential information and documents from 7,087 client matter files to other firms, without the client’s consent”, as a result of breaching Principles 4 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011 and failed to meet Outcome 4.1 of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011.
There were some of their accusations, demands to be clarified by Slater and Gordon. They need to pay £40,000 for “inspecting un-redacted confidential information and documents from 7,087 client matter files of another firm, Quindell Legal Services Limited, without the knowledge or consent of the relevant clients.” The team probing the whole incident also accused it of a few of its activities, which created a negative impact. The other blames on Slater and Gordon were, it disclosed un-redacted private data. They also revealed official documents from a selection of Quindell Legal Services Limited client matter files to two other firms without any consent from those clients. Through this, they violated Principles 3 and 6 of the SRA Principles 2011.
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