Solicitor struck from roll after forging client’s signature on will

Solicitor struck from roll after forging client's signature on will

A solicitor has been struck from the roll for dishonesty after she forged a client’s signature on a will.

Natalie Bird, 46, formerly a director of Orkney-based D&H Law, admitted professional misconduct before the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal.

In March 2022 she drew up a will for a client that was not dated. A new will was prepared and Ms Bird claimed that her client had signed it at a Zoom meeting.

The tribunal, heard, however, that she did not contact him to arrange that meeting nor send a new document to be signed.

An investigation found she had forged the client’s signature on the new will.

Her lawyer said she should not be struck off, as she was guilty of a “momentary lapse of reason” and showed remorse.

Tribunal vice-chairman Kenneth Paterson said: “The principles of honesty and integrity are fundamental to the profession. Solicitors undertake a duty throughout their professional lives to conduct their clients’ affairs to their utmost ability and with complete honesty and integrity.

“Clients and colleagues should be able to expect those qualities in every solicitor as a matter of course. Solicitors are in a privileged position of trust and must act with utmost propriety.

“Forging a client’s signature would be anathema to all right-thinking solicitors. Striking off is the only proper sanction to protect the public and maintain the reputation of the profession.”

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