A HOOK solicitors has been forced to close following a breach of standards which has prompted an investigation.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has intervened into the practice of Piers Beach at Wills Chandler Beach Ltd, in Station Road Failings from Mr Beach meant the SRA had to immediately intervene and close the firm as well as its office in Fleet.

Mr Beach has also had his practising certificate automatically suspended, meaning he cannot currently practice as a solicitor.

In reaching the decision to intervene, a statement from the SRA said: “Piers Matthew Beach as its manager have failed to comply with the SRA Principles 2011, the SRA Code of Conduct 2011, the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007.”

Investigations are still ongoing at the firm to determine exactly where the failings of Wills Chandler Beach Ltd are.

By intervening, it means the SRA is looking at two possible options which gives it grounds to intervene. These are suspected dishonesty, or an intervention is needed to protect the public.

When intervening, the SRA will stop the firm from operating, take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm, and take possession of all money held by the firm - including clients’ money.

The decision to close both the Hook and Fleet offices was taken on July 6.

Any clients who have ongoing matters existing with the solicitors, this will be taken over by Blake Morgan LLP, who is acting on behalf of the SRA while investigations continue.

While the investigation is being conducted no further details will be disclosed.

It is only if disciplinary proceedings become necessary as a result of the investigation that any information is released by the SRA into the public domain.

Wills Chandler Beach Ltd could not be reached for comment.