Solicitors fined over tax avoidance scheme

Abode Solicitors was based on Cardale Park in Harrogate before it was shut down last year.
Abode Solicitors was based on Cardale Park in Harrogate before it was shut down last year.

Two Harrogate solicitors have been fined for operating tax avoidance schemes for house buyers.

Richard Chan and Rajob Ali, partners at former firm, Abode Solicitors which traded under the names Arc Property Solicitors and Action Conveyancing, were fined £15,000 each by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

The tribunal heard on Wednesday September 24 how Mr Chan and Mr Ali operated various stamp duty land tax avoidance schemes for house buyers. They advised clients on the avoidance scheme through their own separate Seychelles-based business, which took a commission.

The Tribunal found the pair liable for twenty breaches, which included failing to act in the best interests of clients, acting where there was a conflict or significant risk of conflict between clients and numerous Accounts Rules breaches.

Abode Solicitors was shut down in October 2013 by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority which said there has been grounds to intervene to protect the interests of clients.

In 2011 the firm was recognised by The Lawyer one of the top ten law firms in the UK in terms of revenue per partner, at £2.7million per partner.