A LAWYER from Bolton who tried to settle his mounting debts with promissory notes has been struck off.

Before his firm went under, Kessar Nabi had also left his client accounts short by more than £31,000, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was told.

Nabi, whose practice was based in offices at the Rose Hill Works, Nelson Street, even offered a promissory note to HM Revenue and Customs, when he owed them upwards of £57,450.

He also tried the same tactic with a medical agency, which he used for cases, and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

In a fitness to practice panel ruling, SDT officials said that using promissory notes to resolve financial difficulties was "an extraordinary approach" for a solicitor to take.

Suzanne Jackson, for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which brought the case, said Nabi "should have known that the promissory notes were worthless" and would not be accepted by financial institutions.

The hearing was told that the SRA had sent a financial investigation officer into Nabi's practice in April 2018, amid concerns he had abandoned the firm.

Client cash shortages of £31,573 were identified and a decision was taken to formally intervene in the firm's affairs.

Thirteen payments were discovered to have been made from client accounts either when there were insufficient funds left on the ledgers or there had been 'over transfers' or duplicate transfers from the client to office account.

Seven cash transfers 'for round sums' from client accounts were found to have been made at a time when the firm was either close to, or over its overdraft limit of £25,000.

He had also failed to produce requested documents for the SRA investigation throughout May 2018.

Miss Jackson said at the time Nabi had been a solicitor for eight years, five of those as a sole practitioner, and should have been aware of his obligations.

Interviewed by an SRA officer, the solicitor admitted that he knew the firm had been in increasing financial difficulties, and he believed it was around £40,000.

The SDT panel, ordering that he should be struck off, ruled that his conduct was "deliberate, calculated and repeated" and had continued over a significant period of time. He was also ordered to pay costs of £10,379.

Nabi, of Green Lane, Bolton, who did not attend the London hearing, and was not represented, was also declared bankrupt, on the petition of HM Revenue and Customs, last January.