The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal today confirmed its largest-ever fine levied against a law firm in England and Wales.The tribunal ordered that US firm Locke Lord, which has an office in London, must pay £500,000 after admitting four allegations of misconduct.The fine relates to a failure to supervise a solicitor from involving himself and using the client account in transactions that bore the hallmarks of dubious financial arrangements or investment schemes.Locke Lord admitted failing to have effective systems and controls in place to spot potential conflicts of interest, and failing to prevent a solicitor from directing or requesting payments in and out of the client account which were not related to an underlying legal service. Headquarters of Locke Lord UKSource: Michael CrossLocke Lord UKThe fine is double the previous record, when international firm White & Case was hit with a £250,000 penalty in July over issues of conflict of interest and client confidentiality.It is also understood to be the first time a firm has admitted an allegation of acting with a lack of integrity.The Solicitors Regulation Authority stressed that Locke Lord, which agreed the fine with the regulator before it went to the tribunal, has been ‘constructive and sensible’ during the investigation, with the level of cooperation preventing the punishment being ‘significantly more’.A non-practising solicitor who left the firm in October 2015 is separately charged with seven allegations which will be subject to a hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. These allegations are as yet unproven.In a statement, Locke Lord said the matters investigated by the SRA concern the actions of that solicitor and relate only to clients for whom he worked. None of the firm’s other clients were affected by these actions. ‘We regret what has happened, but we are pleased to note that the SRA accepted our position that the firm and its senior officers did not act dishonestly or with conscious impropriety, or turn a blind eye to [the solicitor’s] conduct.’After their departure and in consideration of matters that came to light, steps were taken to review existing practices and procedure. A number of changes and improvements were made.’We remain committed to ensuring that we are at the forefront of best practice, that we uphold the legal profession’s high standards, and that this situation does not arise again.’The tribunal has yet to publish its judgment, but the SRA says this case will send a message to firms to check their monitoring procedures.Executive director David Middleton added: ‘The tribunal is waking up to the importance of deterrence. We were very clear about entity regulation and that firms are accountable.’Since October 2016, in addition to Locke Lord the SRA has taken action against 10 other firms or solicitors in cases where people have lost £50m in total.Between September 2016 and June 2017, the regulator received 12 reports about potential investment scams, with cases including losses from a Brazilian ecohouse scheme and investment opportunities in diamond and fine art trading.
This year’s Shell Malaysia MotoGP round at Sepang was taken to a whole new level thanks to Shell Malaysia. They also organised the Shell Advance Ride Thru Service Campaign where hundreds of bikers enjoyed free service with any purchase of their engine oil. In the past 10 seasons of MotoGP, Shell Malaysia has been the main sponsor of the Motorcycle Grand Prix here in Malaysia and for 2018, they took things to a whole new level. To further elevate the MotoGP experience, Shell Malaysia took over the entire B Hillstand and turned it up into the Shell Hillstand which overlooked the iconic Turn 13, 14, as well as the back straight.Over 103,000 MotoGP fans congregated at this year MotoGP round at Sepang and those who were fortunate enough to have made their way to the Shell Hillstand were presented with not just a great view of the races but also other fun-filled activities for the entire family.Fans were greeted with a huge variety of food and refreshments from major food trucks all the way up to their very own deli2go, Costa Coffee, TeaLive, plus many more. Racing enthusiasts know that getting some nourishment ultimately means missing parts of the race but Shell Malaysia ensured that it didn’t happen by deploying not one but two giant LED screens for all to see.According to Datuk Iain Lo, Country Chairman of Shell Malaysia, “Shell is committed to motorsports development in Malaysia, as evidenced by our title sponsorship for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix. This year, our Shell Hillstand was designed to offer motorsports enthusiasts a unique experience with activities that incited their five senses. Our success here encourages us to continuously innovate our offerings with the hope of elevating the race experience.”Other exciting activities included were:MotoGP™ PS4™ Challenge‘Super Sepak’ activityShell Reflex ChallengeDucati Panigale™ Dyno ExperienceDucati display bikes The entire B Hillstand was taken over and converted into the Shell Hillstand where fans were able to enjoy the races and other activities. If this wasn’t enough, fans who made their way to the Welcome Centre of SIC were welcomed with other exciting endeavours which included racing bike simulators, educational panels, and best of all, a 360° video projection on a giant motorbike helmet made from 100% recycled paper! Amazing offers were also up for grabs as fans were able to purchase the Shell Biker Value Pack all weekend long (which also gave them the golden opportunity to win a brand new motorcycle every week until 30 November 2018!).There was also the Shell Advance Ride Thru Service Campaign were this time around, provided more freebies and goodies than ever before. From just RM30 to purchase any of the Shell advance engine oil package, bike owners enjoyed free service, bike parking, rain cover, and more which was an amazing deal considering that normal bike parking cost RM20.Shell Advance Ride-Thru: Best Way to Enjoy MotoGPShell Malaysia also organised their very first portable refuelling station at the PA1 parking area where bikers can conveniently fill their bikes up with the premium Shell V-Power Racing fuel! Talk about providing nothing but the best, right?Rest assured that next year’s Shell Malaysia MotoGP round will be bigger and even more amazing. Early bird tickets are already up for sale at the Sepang International Circuit official website and we want you to be there for all the festivities. See you next year!–Ads–