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Improper use of client account as a banking facility

SRA Case Study: Lack of availability of UK banking facilities

Scenario

Miss X, a potential client and newly arrived in the UK, has approached a law firm asking if it will hold monies on her behalf. She says that she does not have a UK bank account but is applying to open one. Miss X tells the firm that, although she is not instructing the firm for any legal advice at present, she will do so in the future once a business opportunity she is working on comes to fruition.

SRA's View

We would expect the firm to refuse to receive this money. There is no transaction or matter on which the firm is providing legal advice or assistance. To accept the money would be a breach of rule 14.5.

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