A solicitor who stored purchasers at the hours of darkness about their immigration standing – and even fabricated a letter purporting to be from the House Workplace to cowl his tracks – has been struck off the roll.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal discovered that Tom Kwing Ming Li dishonestly misled two purchasers into believing their purposes for indefinite depart to stay within the UK had been submitted. He then gave updates over the course of 10 years concerning the progress of those purposes whereas the purchasers remained within the UK unlawfully.
The tribunal heard that in one of many circumstances, the shopper made makes an attempt to retrieve her passport and marriage certificates which she had offered to Li. She by no means obtain a duplicate of her file nor her unique paperwork and the matter remained unresolved for six years after her visa had expired. Throughout this time she was unable to return to China to go to household or depart the UK in any respect, and was denied the possibility to attend her father’s funeral.
In 2015, after one of many purchasers had instructed a barrister to safe the return of her passport, Li forwarded a letter purportedly from the UK Border Company saying it was working to retrieve the doc and would affirm a date in the end.
The UK Border Company had truly ceased to exist in 2013 and the House Workplace may discover no file of any such letter being despatched. The tribunal discovered this letter was fabricated and denied Li’s assertion that he had been despatched the letter by an appointed agent.
The tribunal mentioned that statements about progress studies of the purposes have been ‘eminently deceptive and definitively unfaithful’. Li had been instructed to make purposes for everlasting residence however the House Workplace discovered that no utility was ever obtained.
Li, admitted in 2006, labored for Surrey corporations Bells Potter Solicitors and Harrison Li Solicitors through the related interval. He had didn’t attend the tribunal listening to and made an unsuccessful utility for an adjournment. The tribunal mentioned he had the chance to debate an agreed consequence with the SRA over the course of 4 and a half years however did so solely a matter of days earlier than what was the ninth itemizing of the substantive listening to. He was struck off and ordered to pay £37,500 prices.