Mark Thorley censured by SSDT
A solicitor and part-time sheriff has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
Mark Thorley was censured by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) for his behaviour in a dispute between a couple over property.
He is said to have threatened his client’s former partner with legal action unless a complaint made against him was withdrawn.
The SSDT heard that he acted for a woman, B, against her former partner, A, involving the sale of two homes.
In April of 2017, A told the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission that Mr Thorley had refused to return paperwork as well as emails and phone calls.
He wrote: “Every time I agree to yet another alteration in the minute of agreement he changes the goalposts.
“The latest is tantamount to blackmail.”
Tribunal vice-chairman Beverley Atkinson said: “He had allowed his independence to be impaired and permitted his personal interests to influence his actings on behalf of his client.”
Censure was deemed a sufficient penalty as his wrongdoing was at the lower end of the scale.
Counsel for Mr Thorley, Jonathan Brown, said the consequences for his sheriff position are likely to be “severe”.