By Gabriel Princewill-
A solicitor has been jailed for 15 months in an extraordinary case that heaps embarrassment on his highly esteemed profession after being caught lying and forging a signature. Most solicitors and barristers are dignified, hardworking and bright professionals, but there are always a few rotten apples that expose themselves by falling foul of the law.
Kamar Abbas Khan, founder of Yorkshire Firm Taylor Knight was jailed by a High Court judge after being found in contempt of court and forging a client’s signature to cover up a deception over an inflated claim he made and sent to the courts. Contempt proceedings brought against him was on 33 grounds , each alleging interference with the administration of justice. Kamar Abbas Khan went about sourcing by offering to pay intermediaries for introductions.
One of his cohorts, Dr Asef Zafar, who provided medical evidence on the claim, was also found in contempt after allowing changes to be included in a revised diagnosis report. The judge slapped him with a six-month sentence, suspended for six months.
In a case that spanned six years, from February 2012, Kamar Abbar Khan’s indiscretions revealed the ugly face of fraud. Khan discredited himself in every way, through the inconsistency of his account. The contempt charges were in relation to a claim brought by a taxi driver seeking damages for injuries he sustained in a road traffic accident in December 2011. Khan had acted on behalf of the victim and arranged for a medical examination by Dr Zafar.
Kamar Abbar Khan dubiously exaggerated the the extent of his client’s injuries in a bid to fraudulently extort as much money as he possibly could . Dodgy Khan altered the contents of the initial report stated that stated the victim had fully recovered from his injuries in a week, stating that in a second report that the injuries would last six to eight months. The contradiction was exposed after a paralegal mistakenly submitted both reports to the court, sparking an investigation.
Confirmation by handwriting expert, Kathryn Barr that Kamar Abbar Khan had forged the victim’s signature on a fake witness statement was the final nail in the coffin of his doomed case. His crookedness was laid bare, and he had nowhere to hide.The judge condemned Khan’s version of events as ‘simply inventions’ by Khan, designed to mislead the defendants and the court in the personal injury action.
Garnham J said: ‘I confess I found it extraordinary that a solicitor, facing a contempt of court allegation, should, even for a moment, think it sensible or appropriate to attempt to “blag” his way through his evidence.’ He lambasted Khan , accusing him of ”inventions” designed to mislead the defendants and the court
In his judgment, Mr Justice Garnham, described Khan as a ‘thoroughly dishonest man’ who had set out to mislead both the insurer LV and the court. The effects of his conviction has reverberated throughout the legal professional, leaving many legal practitioners in the field aghast that a solicitor could stoop so low. A damning indictment on a man who was accredited in a profession that is supposed to epitomize dignity, integrity and intellectual brilliance.
An eminent Barrister who didn’t want to be named told The Eye Of Media.Com:
‘This is a huge disgrace to the legal profession, Khan has deeply let himself and the profession down. Forging a signature is a serious offence prohibited in every law abiding setting, honourable legal professionals should never forge any document.
”Khan’s transgressions were of so serious a magnitude that he had to stoop so low out of desperation to try to conceal his tracks, but the law always finds you out when you go that far”.The judge told Khan he had appeared to be ‘as comfortable and fluent’ in advancing one version of events as another. The discrepancies in Khan’s account were so glaring that he was lost for words in rationalizing his flops and legal infringements. He conceded that he was ‘blagging’ during his answers.
Solicitors are entrusted with the high responsibility of advising their clients and acting in their best interests, but like in many fields, some betray the trust, and misrepresent their profession. Khan’s career is in now tartars, as he is cast into the lions den of criminals , the class of which his professional contemporaries usually defend or legally condemn.
Professionals in the legal profession are expected to always contemplate their actions and omissions in their endeavours, and consider where they stand in the scheme of the unforeseeable future. Khan will serve his time in jail, but will have to hide his face when he comes out. All solicitors that hear of this story must learn from it, including the majority that may currently have no inclination to commit such acts. They can warn other aspiring solicitors to avoid any temptations for deception.