A Thanet law firm has shut down after its licence was revoked by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)
The CLC took intervention action into The Foster Partnership Ltd, which has sites in Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs and Herne Bay, yesterday (October 17).
It is in response to breaches of the code of conduct and serious accounting errors.
In a notice the CLC say: “In light of breaches of the Code of Conduct and to protect the interests of the firm’s clients, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has intervened.”
Thirty staff are affected by the closure.
A spokesman for The Foster Partnership said, “I am sad to say that, after three years of operating in North and East Kent, The Foster Partnership ceased trading on October 17, following the revocation of our operating licence by our regulators, the CLC.
“In September 2018, during our annual regulatory audit, our independent auditors discovered breaches of our professional rules, including serious accounting errors. In accordance with the regulatory requirements, these were reported to the CLC.
“Since that time, we have worked tirelessly with the CLC, our auditors and indemnity insurers to identify and rectify the issues, including implementing more stringent management and accounting policies.
“In spite of this, the CLC have obviously run out of patience and have taken the drastic step of intervening in the practice.
“All files and client monies have now been transferred to Stephensons Solicitors. This has been a very distressing time for the managers, staff and our loyal clients, most of whom have been with us since the beginning. We want to thank everyone for their loyalty, friendship and kindness.”
Files are currently being held by the CLC and Stephensons Solicitors LLP will deal with the cases. Clients are able to appoint another lawyer if they prefer.
If you are affected contact the CLC on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3859 0904.
Thanks heavens for the Isle of Thanet News, without which I would have been none the wiser all four Fosters branches had been closed down! They had been instructed by me to prepare a new Will a couple of years ago, and as I have no next of kin I would trust, or burden with my death, prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney, in the event I was no longer able to make decisions for myself! On my death they would have wound up my estate, and paid out my beneficiaries (hollow laugh!) Also, arrange my military funeral, which now I realise may not have happened! It is lamentable that the CLC had not informed me that they had located, and stored all my legal correspondence going back many years, which is still a source of distress for me! It may take many months to sort this out, in the meantime I have managed to secure an appointment with another, hopefully more professional firm of local solicitors! I urge anyone in a similar position to contact the CLC soonest!