Lawyers

Lawyer struck off after London watchdog case

THE former boss of a Bolton solicitors firm – embroiled in a controversial mortgages scheme – has been struck off.

Roger Allanson’s firm, formerly based in Central Street, specialised in breaches in mortgage contracts relating to payment miscalculations.

And he has previously insisted to The Bolton News that there was “nothing dishonest” about the scheme, which had raised £20m and was covered by insurance.

But his industry watchdog, the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority closed down his firm, which also had offices in Wigan, in May 2019.

An intervening agent, Bradford-based Gordons LLP, was appointed, amid claims he had breached solicitors’ operational and accounting rules.

His disciplinary body, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), has now confirmed Mr Allanson has been struck off after a hearing held between January 25 and February 1.

A spokesman for the SDT told The Bolton News that the full judgement in Mr Allanson’s case was not likely to be available for another four weeks.

Weeks before the closure, the SRA had disclosed the lawyer’s practising certificate for 2018-19 forbade him from acting as a manager for any firm, act as a compliance or finance officer for a legal practice or haivng any access to client account monies.

Mr Allanson, who at one time was a board member of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Trust, was unavailable for comment last night.

He has previously said his mortgages scheme had covered an “unexpected gap in the market”.

And he described the decision to shut the firm and suspend him as “unnecessary”.

Mr Allanson added: “There was no dishonesty with this scheme, it was an opportunity for people who are not averse to risk to gain a return on an investment.

“We have raised about £20m to back about 4,000 cases, and have an insurance policy if it goes wrong. They are all grown ups who are able to make their own decisions.

“This decision has been taken because they (the SRA) are worried this will collapse under their watch.”

But his conduct, and that of a colleague, had already seen him fall foul of regulators.

The SDT fined him £17,000 in December 2018, with £10,000 costs, after the body found he had allowed improper payments to be made out of Allanson LLP’s client account, into the firm’s office account. But no ‘improper motive’ was assigned to his conduct by the hearing.

Related Articles