The independent Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal heard the man did not know that Catriona Macfarlane and Nigel Macfarlane were married. In conversations with the man, identified only as Mr A, she simply referred to her husband as “the broker”.

The tribunal ruled that Mrs Macfarlane, 49, of Loganswell, Newton Mearns, should have been more honest earlier, told the client to seek independent advice and withdrawn from acting.

The case was brought by the Law Society of Scotland, which regulates the professional conduct of the country’s solicitors.

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It told the tribunal that in May 2006, Mr A wanted to buy a house and contacted Ideal Mortgages, where Mr Macfarlane worked. Between then and November that year, he handed over a total of £24,150 to be used as a deposit.

Soon afterwards, Mr A went to Hasties Solicitors in Glasgow’s Lynedoch Crescent where Mrs Macfarlane works. She acted for him during the purchase of a property and, when it emerged that there were problems with the loan, phoned her husband.

Mrs Macfarlane also got the settlement date put back a month to February 8, 2007, but, the day before the deal was due to be concluded, she phoned the seller to say that her client “had been badly let down by his broker” and was unable to complete the transaction.

By this time, Mrs Macfarlane knew that her husband had misappropriated the money he had received from Mr A, said the tribunal in its written ruling.

Two weeks later, Mr Macfarlane visited Mr A, confessed what he had done, and promised to sort things out.

By this time, Mr A had become suspicious because solicitor and broker shared the same surname and confronted, Mrs Macfarlane who admitted they were married.

The tribunal heard that a new solicitor took over acting for Mr A and the property purchase was successfully completed in April 2007. Mr Macfarlane paid back what he had taken and also paid the additional costs caused by the delay.

But they decided that Mrs Macfarlane, who has been a solicitor for 27 years, had acted “very irresponsibly” and that what she had done

was “completely contrary to the standards of conduct expected of a solicitor”.

The tribunal also made an order that for the next three years Mrs Macfarlane could work only as an assistant, supervised by another solicitor.

Mrs Macfarlane did not contest the facts and was not present at the hearing.