Jailed lawyer struck off after admitting role in the issuing of false divorces

A former managing partner of a law firm in Bradford, who is serving a prison sentence for fraud, has admitted his role in the issuing of false divorce certificates.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Mohammed Ayub, 56, had failed to supervise a work experience student who provided three couples with falsified decree absolutes while working at Chambers Solicitor in Bradford from 2010 to 2012.

In two of the cases, the parties involved only became aware of the deception after going on to unwittingly commit bigamy.

In addition to his conviction of fraudulently claiming tens of thousands of pounds from the Legal Aid Agency, the tribunal heard that Ayub has admitted failing to supervise the conduct of divorce proceedings at Chambers, where he was sole equity partner, by a work experience student, known only in reports as ‘Anna.’

Ayub, who was ordered to pay £4,139.34 in costs, admitted failing to supervise staff involved in divorce proceedings, and a failure to deal with the complaints relating to the cases involved.

The tribunal report stated: “The respondent admitted the allegations against him in their entirety.

“Mr Ayub accepts that the seriousness of his admitted misconduct is such that neither a reprimand, a fine, or being suspended from practice would be a sufficient sanction.

“Mr Ayub accepts that the protection of the public and the protection of the reputation of the profession justifies him being struck off the Roll of Solicitors.”

Ayub was jailed for three years and six months in June this year after being found guilty of conspiring with his brother Mohammed Riaz, 50, and solicitor Neil Frew, 49, to form a sham company, known as Legal Support Services, to fraudulently claim tens of thousands of pounds of interpreter’s fees from the Legal Aid Agency, a Government body that administers the legal aid system.