THE former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is to face a professional misconduct hearing next month in relation to her previous career as a lawyer. Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, who sits on the SNP’s ruling national executive committee, is the subject of a disciplinary action by the Law Society of Scotland. Nial Mickel, her former partner in Glasgow law firm Hamilton Burns, which went bust last year owning £600,000, is also a subject of the action. The Scottish Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal confirmed a “procedural hearing for a complaint” will take place in Edinburgh on April 23.
The Law Society launched an investigation last May into the administration of a trust fund set up by Hamilton Burns to which Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was a signatory.
Complaints deemed to have merit are referred to a disciplinary tribunal, which then decides whether there is a prima facie case against the solicitor or solicitors.
The fact that a notice was served on Ms Ahmed-Sheikh and Mr Mickel earlier this year confirmed the tribunal did believe there was a case to answer.
The disciplinary procedure, known as ‘prosecution’, is led by a specialist solicitor known as a fiscal, and may result in a hearing of evidence and legal submissions before the tribunal.
The tribunal has the the power to strike off lawyers in the most serious cases.
Last year, after complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him, the SNP suspended former minister Mark McDonald, who now sits as an Independent MSP. However the party has not suspended Ms Ahmed-Sheikh. Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said:[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]“This is yet another headache for the SNP leadership from Tasmina.
“The SNP will surely now be hoping she steps down from their National Executive – she’s long past the point of being a liability for the Nationalists. In fact it’s hard to keep up with all the negative stories about her.”
Ms Ahmed-Sheikh,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]47, and Mr Mickel,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]49, set up Hamilton Burns WS as a partnership in 2001 and it became a limited company in 2014.
The company went into administration owing £600,000, including £210,000 in tax.[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]
In December 2016, it emerged Ms Ahmed-Sheikh faced court action from HM Revenue and Customs in a sequestration case related to Hamilton Burns WS Limited.
However the case never came to court after being dismissed “in chambers”, with Ms Ahmed-Sheikh saying at the time she had “no outstanding personal tax liability whatsoever”.
Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was elected the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire in May 2015, and immediately resigned from Hamilton Burns.
She lost her seat to the Conservative Luke Graham in 2017. She is currently the business partner of former First Minister Alex Salmond, producing and co-presenting his weekly show on the Kremlin-funded TV channel RT.
Mr Mickel resigned from Hamilton Burns in December 2015. Earlier this month the Herald revealed a charity launched by Ms Ahmed-Sheikh in 2012 with £16,000 worth of Scottish Government support was being wound up.
The Scottish Asian Women’s Association, which Ms Ahmed-Sheikh chaired for three years until her election in 2015, was almost inactive after she left, fuelling labour claims it had been little more than a publicity vehicle to advance her political ambitions.
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