• April 23, 2024
 Solicitor struck off for falsifying LPA documents

Solicitor struck off for falsifying LPA documents

Krystel Marzan, a solicitor admitted in 2014, has been struck off after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found her guilty of passing off previously signed copies of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) as newly executed.

Marzan, 41, admitted her failure to arrange fresh signatures but insisted on the absence of dishonesty in her actions. The tribunal concluded that Marzan, who was a director of Information Officers Limited, a non-regulated company from 2014 to 2018, knowingly violated rules regarding the signing and witnessing of LPAs. Motivated by expediency and cost-cutting, Marzan’s shortcuts resulted in deficient procedures, placing her clients at the risk of having invalid deeds.

The irregularities came to light when the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) reported discrepancies in the LPAs submitted by Marzan. The OPG rejected two LPAs in the following year due to the inclusion of photocopies, which Marzan failed to disclose in her correspondence with clients.

Despite Marzan claiming innocence, the tribunal deemed her actions a “thought-out path” and a breach of client trust. The LPAs were cancelled by the OPG, putting the donor in a potentially precarious situation where their wishes might not have been honoured. The judgment added:

“The tribunal entreats solicitors starting out in the profession and within all specific areas of practice to thoroughly learn their craft before espousing to the public expertise they do not yet possess. It is important to speak to and take advice from more experienced colleagues to obtain insight upon the risk from departing from correct and appropriate procedures. Failure to do so, will have adverse consequences upon the client and ultimately rebound upon the solicitor.”

In mitigation, Marzan argued that the dishonesty was an isolated incident in 2016, and she had since learned from her mistakes, closing her company. However, the tribunal emphasised the gravity of her actions and ordered Marzan to be struck off, with a mandate to pay £19,453 in costs.

Katie Johnson, Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Digital Journalist, Today's Media Contact: katie.johnson@todaysmedia.co.uk LinkedIn