World book and copyrights day and international legal rights concept with old book in library with judge gavel on open law textbook in court archive text collection study roomA veteran solicitor has been struck off after practicing without insurance for 12 years.  Peter Rollin also failed to seek authorisation to act as a sole practitioner and did not keep proper accounts, among numerous other rule breaches.

Mr Rollin, 76, was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 1969 and practiced as a sole practitioner.  He told the Solicitors Regulation Authority that to the “best of his knowledge” he had not needed to apply for authorisation.  Prior to 2009 solicitors had to notify the regulator if they were practicing as sole practitioners and obtain specific authorisation as ‘recognised sole practitioners’ since 2009.

Mr Rollin maintained that he believed he was authorised because he had a practising certificate.  He admitted serious professional misconduct including failing to act with integrity or in the best of interests of his clients.   

He was struck off by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

The Tribunal said, “There was a clear risk of harm to the profession and to clients arising from his actions. Given his extensive experience he ought to have known his conduct was in breach of his obligations.”

Peter Rollin practised in high risk areas including conveyancing, probate and wills which would have attracted high insurance premiums.  But no client initiated a claim against him during his time in practice.

 “Professional indemnity insurance is essential to protect the public when solicitors make mistakes,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions.  “It is surprising that he practiced for so long in these areas without an issue, and if there had been successful claims against Mr Rollin the cost would have been carried by his clients or the Solicitors’ Compensation Fund.”

Reports of the case have been published by Legal Futures and the Law Society Gazette.

Brunel Professions is a leading provider of PII insurance broking to the legal profession. To find out more call Mark Sommariva on 0203 475 3275.