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Solicitors Act 1974

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[F144BCInformation offencesE+W

(1)It is an offence for a person who knows or suspects an investigation into any of the matters mentioned in section 44B(3)(a) to (d) is being or is likely to be conducted—

(a)to falsify, conceal, destroy or otherwise dispose of a document which the person knows or suspects is or would be relevant to the investigation, or

(b)to cause or permit the falsification, concealment, destruction or disposal of such a document.

(2)In proceedings for an offence under subsection (1) it is a defence for the accused to show that the accused had no intention of concealing facts disclosed by the documents from the person conducting the investigation.

(3)It is an offence for a person, in purported compliance with a requirement imposed on the person under section 44B, 44BA or 44BB—

(a)to provide information which the person knows to be false or misleading in a material particular, or

(b)recklessly to provide information which is false or misleading in a material particular.

(4)A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (3) is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine, or both.

(5)In relation to an offence under subsection (1) or (3) committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the reference in subsection (4)(a) to 12 months is to be read as a reference to 6 months.]

Textual Amendments

F1Ss. 44B-44BC substituted (31.3.2009) for s. 44B by Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), ss. 177, 211, Sch. 16 para. 44 (with ss. 29, 192, 193); S.I. 2009/503, art. 2(b)(i) (subject to art. 4)

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