WIRRAL’S coroner was fined and warned about his future conduct, after his business partner made up invoices and took money from clients.
Christopher Johnson was given a maximum £2,000 fine and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
An SRA investigation found the Wirral coroner had “no direct knowledge” of Rex Taylor and Meadows’ improper dealings, “which were the responsibility of another partner”.
But he was slapped with the fine because he was judged to have been “jointly responsible” for the West Kirby firm’s breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules.
The other partner in the firm was Alan Tickell, 54, of Meols, who was struck off and ordered to pay £20,000 costs. When the News contacted Mr Johnson, a representative said he “considered the matter closed” and declined to comment further.
After an agreement signed with the SRA on November 20 of last year, Mr Johnson could be brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal if he is found to be in breach of the settlement.
Christopher Johnson left the firm in June 2011, two months after the SRA began its investigation.
The Office for Judicial Complaints said they are “aware of the SRA finding” and are “considering whether the matter requires investigation”.
Mr Johnson became Wirral coroner in 1988 and is a former president of the national Coroners’ Society.