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19.09.18

Solicitor who overcharged NHS millions with ‘obscene’ clinical negligence bills fined £30k

A solicitor who overcharged the NHS millions of pounds for clinical negligence has been fined £30,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Andrew Good, who had been the joint owner (50% stake) of Hull law firm Rapid Response, was fined for misconduct after the tribunal found that his conduct “was motivated by his desire for the clinical negligence department to be profitable” and that “in pursuit of that desire he lost sight of his professional obligations.”

The NHS Litigation Authority (now NHS Resolution) first reported its concerns to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in 2013, after which an investigation was launched.

The investigation revealed that Good’s firm had been charging £400 per hour and had 100% success fees. However, the investigation found that of the £6.5m claimed in costs by the firm, it recovered just under £1.5m – meaning the costs recovered were £5m less than those claimed.

The bills invoiced by Good’s firm were described as “obscene” by legal firm Acumension, which provided evidence

The SRA described the overcharging to the tribunal as “planned, deliberate and conducted on a grand scale” for the sole purpose of “enriching the owners of the firm.”

However, Good argued to the tribunal that it could not be proved that excessive bills were “routinely” submitted.

The tribunal concluded that he lacked integrity, but was not dishonest.

Top image: DNY59

 

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