By Gabriel Princewill-
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been awarded £12,000 in costs after prosecuting a case against a dishonest solicitor for misleading the court over a backdated budget.
Angelina Rigby was found to have acted dishonestly by using documents recreated for the file to reflect an earlier date. However, the tribunal dismissed a number of other allegations, including that Rigby dubiously caused the costs budget itself to be backdated citing concerns over the investigation and nature of the evidence presented.
Rigby, the head of clinical negligence at national firm Geldards based in its Cardiff office was placed in charge of bringing proceedings against a hospital in relation to the death of a patient. She left in July 2017, with the allegations relating to events in the weeks leading up to her departure.
Although Rigby was cleared of backdating the costs of acting dishonestly in sending letters to the court and defendant solicitors enclosing the costs budget, she was found to have filed an application to Cardiff County Court for relief from sanctions which contained untruthful and/or misleading statements.
Amongst her deceits, was a signed declaration of truth stating that the attached letters were copies of the originals sent before the budget deadline, when she knew the letters had been recreated after the event.
In her defence, she said she had rushed to complete and lodge the application with court, and this was consistent was a ‘moment of madness’ .However, the tribunal found her misconduct was not spontaneous and required planning and thought. The SRA admitted that recovering the costs in these types of cases is not always easy.
A spokesperson told The Eye Of Media.Com:
”We prosecuted the case and successfully got this solicitor struck off. The solicitor will now have to go through a means testing process to see how she will pay our costs bearing in mind that she has just had her job taken off her.
We have a responsibility to balance any failure of recovering necessary costs against the principle of not being monstrous”.