Responsibility for deficits arising as a result of cybercrime

Registrar of Solicitors, Regulation of Practice 05/06/2015

The May 2015 edition of the Law Society Gazette contained an article entitled ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’. This article detailed recent cases of fraud perpetrated on client bank accounts, resulting in a deficit in client moneys.

The Regulation of Practice Committee wishes to emphasise that any deficit arising in client moneys held by a practice is the personal responsibility of the partners/principal of the practice, whether caused by a solicitor or staff member or as a victim of cybercrime. It is therefore the responsibility of the partners/principal to reimburse the client account the amount fraudulently taken, rectifying any deficit, whether from the proceeds of insurance cover and/or from personal funds. 

John Elliot, Registrar of Solicitors and Director of Regulation.