Solicitor Suspended After Misusing Blue Badge
Narrowly avoids being struck off after parking in Mattock Lane
Used a cancalled blue badge to park in a disabled bay
A solicitor working for Taylor Rose TTKW Ltd has been suspended from the profession after a Tribunal heard that she had illegally used a blue badge to park her car on Mattock Lane.
Nina Koushi parked her white Mercedes in a disabled space on 12 November 2019 when she was working as an associate solicitor for McMillan Williams (which has since been taken over by Taylor Rose). She had only recently qualified as a solicitor.
She had been in a meeting when she realised that her parking session had expired and says she was unable to find a parking space nearby and put the car in a disabled space out of desperation.
A Fraud Investigator for Ealing Council saw the car parked and checked the details of the blue badge which it emerged had previously been reported as lost and had been cancelled.
When Ms Koushi was approached by the investigator and another Ealing Council employee she claimed that the badge was her father’s and then that It belonged to a friend of her father’s called Danny. When informed that it was illegal to use a blue badge unless the person that it belonged to was in the car, she said that, as a solicitor, she would not have done so if she had been aware of this and she wouldn’t have put her legal career in jeopardy by doing so.
On 3 February 2020 Ms Koushi appeared at Ealing Magistrates’ Court pleaded guilty to using a disabled person’s badge with intent to deceive. She received a fine of £1,125 and was ordered to pay costs of £690.92 and a victim surcharge of £181.
A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal was held this July to consider the case. Normally, when dishonest by a solicitor is proven then the automatic judgment would be that they would be struck off. However, the Tribunal decided to suspend Ms Koushi for six months and ordered her to pay £2,300 costs. They decided that, as the parking charge avoided was just £4 and after reading reports from her colleagues testifying to her previous good character and a psychiatrist’s report which outlined mental health issues she was having at the time, the most severe punishment was not justified.
August 31, 2021