Manchester

Lawyer for The Accident Group faces being struck off

A Manchester lawyer who acted for the collapsed no-win no-fee firm The Accident Group (TAG) is facing being struck off for dishonesty.

TAG collapsed in May 2003 owing £100m and sacked its 2,500 staff by text.

Anthony Dennison is a former partner at Rowe Cohen (RC) solicitors, which vetted TAG claims and which acted for clients introduced by the group.

Mr Dennison also part-owned Legal Report Services (LRS), which wrote medical reports for RC legal clients.

His clients and fellow partners at his legal firm did not know of his share holding in LRS.

In November 2009 a Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal found that Mr Dennison had deliberately kept his involvement with LRS secret from clients and his partners as he had not wanted his partners to share in the money that he had been making from LRS.

'Deeply disappointed'

It emerged that he had drawn money in dividends and salary from LRS and had eventually sold his interest for more than £1.5m.

The tribunal found that he had acted dishonestly in respect of LRS and also found separately that he had breached professional standards in respect of two less serious matters. The tribunal imposed a fine of £20,000 in respect of LRS.

The Solicitors' Regulatory Authority (SRA), which brought the case, felt the fine was too lenient and appealed to the High Court.

High Court judges have agreed with the SRA and recommended that Mr Dennison be struck off.

Mr Dennison has appealed against that decision and until his appeal is heard he is still able to practise.

Mr Dennison said: "I am deeply disappointed with the decision of the court.

"I am firmly of the view that my regulatory body, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, is best placed to decide if I should continue in practice.

"I have already notified the court that I will be appealing to the Court of Appeal.

"Because of this the court has agreed to stay the effect of the order pending that appeal.

"I would like to stress that no one has lost any money as a result of what I did."

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