8th July, 2022
A young solicitor who began evading train fares within a year of being admitted has been struck off the roll in England and Wales.
Adam Kemeny avoided paying around £650 in fares to travel from east London to Redhill in Kent, but was found out in October 2017 when a Govia ticket inspector checked his ticket.
The solicitor had realised three months earlier that he could leave stations without ‘tapping out’ his travel card, and eventually started skipping the whole daily return fare of approximately £17. The outstanding fares were calculated by Govia at £650, and Kemeny reported himself to the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority after a settlement had been made by him with Govia.
He was dismissed by his firm.
Kememy told a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing he had ‘taken his eye off the ball’ and insisted he would usually do the right thing in his personal and professional life. He agreed he chose not to pay the fares and it was not because he could not afford to. Kemeny told the tribunal he was ‘incredibly embarrassed’ but he retained the faith of his family who knew how much he loved being a solicitor.
The tribunal found Kemeny had acted dishonestly and he continued to commit misconduct over a period of time. He knew – or ought reasonably to have known – that his actions were in breach of the obligations to protect the public and the reputation of the legal profession. Despite Kemeny stating that he intended to end his misconduct, his actions ceased only when he was caught by the inspector.
The tribunal decided that the only appropriate sanction was strike off from the roll of solicitors. To add to his woes, he was ordered to pay £3,000 in costs!