Incident adopted ‘prolonged lunch’ with colleagues

An “extraordinarily drunk” senior companion who kissed a younger paralegal on the neck in a London wine bar has been fined £10,000 by a disciplinary tribunal.

Geoffrey Howard Julian Critchlow, a former senior companion at what was then London outfit Al Bawardi Critchlow Solicitors, additionally touched the girl’s leg on greater than as soon as event, rubbed her again, rested his head on her shoulder and touched her backside.

The incident occurred in February 2018 and adopted an “prolonged lunch” with two colleagues, according to a judgment printed not too long ago by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

The lunch is alleged to have continued into the night, with the veteran solicitor later joined by different members of the agency, together with the paralegal recognized solely as ‘Individual A’, and a consumer.

Critchlow accepted he was “already intoxicated” by the point Individual A had arrived “however turned considerably extra inebriated thereafter”. He additional admitted that he “must have recognized the conduct was not invited and never wished”, the ruling states.

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The tribunal heard how the 63-year-old self-reported the matter inside six weeks and apologised to the paralegal, whereas the agency paid for her to take impartial authorized recommendation. The lady, who left the agency the next month, additionally acquired £13,000 as a part of a settlement settlement.

In prolonged mitigation, Critchlow’s barrister, Alexandra Felix, flagged the solicitor’s character witnesses who stated they had been “shocked and shocked by the conduct as a result of to them it was out of character of the person that every of them knew”.

Felix additionally submitted that Critchlow had voluntarily undertaken counselling and now “tightly managed” any consumption of alcohol in skilled circumstances.

The tribunal stated the skilled solicitor had proven an absence of integrity and didn’t act in a manner which maintains belief within the career. He was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay prices of £8,000.

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