The Metro newspaper recently reported on the trial of a solicitor who allegedly claimed for 26 hours work in a single day as part of a plot to cheat Legal Aid out of more than £300,000.
Also standing trial was a legal executive, with the prosecution claiming: “He attended Leicester crown court from his home in the Midlands but they claimed as if he had commuted daily from London, and submitted forged taxi receipts’.
Also accused was costs draughtsman (sic) Robert Odong, with the prosecution saying: Odong ‘appears responsible for hand-written alterations to attendance notes and taxi receipts’.
I can’t understand why a solicitor should be put through this kind of indignity. Presumably the solicitor signed some kind of Legal Aid form to confirm that the claim for costs was accurate. That should be an end to the matter and it should be accepted without further ado that the 26 hours per day was accurate. We all know the importance to be placed on a signature by an officer of the Court (see Bailey v IBC Vehicles  EWCA Civ 566).
As for a dishonest law costs draftsman, the very thought…