UK Solicitor fined over convictions for assault and drink driving

The UK Law Soc Gazette reports

A solicitor convicted of two offences within three days of each other has been fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Simon Trees, a partner with national firm Knights, was convicted earlier this year of assault by beating after grabbing the arm of another person during a brief altercation at his home. He pleaded guilty at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court and was discharged conditionally for 24 months.

In August last year, two days after the assault took place, Trees was also stopped by police while driving his car and given a breath test.  He was subsequently convicted of driving over the prescribed alcohol limit and disqualified from driving for 23 months, reduced by 23 weeks pending the completion of a driving course. He was also fined £1,730.

The SRA accepted that neither incident caused lasting harm and that Trees had promptly reported his convictions to the SRA and cooperated with its investigation. He had shown remorse and insight for his actions and completed the driving course.

A fine was considered appropriate to uphold public confidence in the profession and to provide a ‘credible deterrent’ to Trees and other solicitors.

He was fined £1,700 and agreed to pay £300 costs.