A London solicitor found guilty of 14 charges of misconduct has been ordered to be struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
The tribunal said the bahaviour of Andreas Erthodos Alexandrou, from East Barnet, north London, formerly of Alexandrou & Co based in High Barnet, amounted to dishonesty of the 'most serious nature'.
The allegations proven against him included failing to have proper accounting systems, records and internal controls in place; failing to remedy breaches of accounts rules promptly upon discovery and allowing a shortfall of client funds to arise on his client account.
The tribunal also upheld four counts of dishonesty against Alexandrou, for making misleading statements to the court during proceedings in which he was appearing as solicitor for himself and his wife. ??
The Solicitors Regulation Authority closed down Alexandrou's practice in May 2013 due to breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998; the SRA Accounts Rules 2011; the SRA Principles 2011; and the SRA Practising Regulations 2011. His practising certificate was suspended at that time. ??
Alexandrou cited personal reasons to prevent a strike-off, but the tribunal said his behaviour amounted to dishonesty of the 'most serious nature' and there were no exceptional circumstances. ??
Alexandrou was ordered to pay costs of £21,500. ??
SRA director of legal and enforcement Gordon Ramsay said: 'Mr Alexandrou's failures to comply were comprehensive and spanned a long period. By his own admission he had been out of control but had continued to practise.
'He also failed to seek help. These non-compliance issues would of themselves have justified a lengthy suspension and possibly a strike-off. However, in combination with the proven dishonesty allegations, a strike-off for these is also justified.'?