A LEADING candidate for Alex Salmond’s Alba Party is the subject of a second disciplinary tribunal for alleged professional misconduct in her previous job as a lawyer.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, who is Alba’s top-ranked candidate on its Central Scotland list for Holyrood, is due to face a hearing the week after the election.

If Alba gets six per cent of the vote in Central Scotland, she could veery well be an MSP by then.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, a former SNP MP, is the subject of an action at the Scottish Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SSDT), prosecuted by the Law Society of Scotland.

The Alba Party’s website refers to Ms Ahmed-Sheikh’s background as a “businesswoman, lawyer and award-winning actress”, but does not mention the tribunal.

Alba said the matter dated back 10 years to Ms Ahmed-Sheikh's previous law firm, Hamilton Burns, which she left in 2015 and which went bust in 2017 owing £638,000.

It is understood the current SSDT case involving Ms Sheikh has been running for more than a year.

The SSDT held a preliminary hearing last August, at which Ms Ahmed-Sheikh’s request to freeze proceedings was rejected.

The SSDT said at the time: "This case is a procedural hearing for complaint of professional misconduct."  

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Ms Ahmed-Sheikh did not take part in the virtual hearing, but was represented by advocate Duncan Hamilton, a former SNP MSP and adviser to Mr Salmond.

Mr Hamilton said a “substantial and detailed” issue was involved.

He said “protection of the public” was an important consideration, but Ms Ahmed-Sheikh was no longer a practising solicitor and did not intend to be one in the foreseeable future.

He said: “There is therefore no risk to the public requiring immediate intervention.”

A further preliminary hearing was due to call on March 17 this year, but the tribunal adjourned it.

A new date of May 11 has now been fixed.

It is listed in the SSDT’s diary as “Virtual Preliminary Hearing: Law Society v Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh”.

The SSDT deals with "complaints about professional misconduct by a solicitor".

It can censure, impose fines of up to £10,000, impose a restriction on a solicitor’s practising certificate, suspend the solicitor for a period, or strike them off the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland.

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Ms Ahmed-Sheikh has already been found guilty of professional misconduct by the SSDT in a previous case.

In 2019, it fined her £3,000 over her handling of a trust fund at the law firm in which she was a partner before entering Westminster.

She and her fellow partner in the now-defunct firm of Hamilton Burns were said to have shown “disregard for the rules”.

The SSDT also found they had failed to keep “properly written up accounting records” and borrowed sums from the fund to support the struggling business, a conflict of interest which risked undermining public confidence in the legal profession.

However the tribunal also accepted they had not been dishonest of benefitted personally.

It agreed their actions had been the result of a mistaken belief that the trust, set up for the benefit of Mr Mickel’s sister in 2012, had been a “private, family matter”, when in legal terms it was considered a client of the firm, and so subject to stricter rules.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh later challenged the way the expenses had been awarded on a punitive “agent and client basis” by seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session,

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Judge Lord Ericht dismissed her petition as “incompetent” as she had not exhausted other avenues of appeal, and noted that although agent and client expenses were not typical for a court, they were standard for the SSDT.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, 50, was a partner in Hamilton Burns until she resigned in May 2015 to take up her place at Westminster as the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire.

Like Mr Salmond, she lost her seat in 2017, and went into business with the former First Minister, producing and co-presenting his show on a Kremlin-backed TV channel.

An Alba spokesperson said: "There is no comment allowed on a Law Society Tribunal hearing which is scheduled but has not taken place. 

"These are historic matters dating back 10 years to the former Hamilton Burns legal firm which Tasmina left in 2015 when she was elected to Parliament.

"Alba has full confidence in Tasmina."

The Law Society of Scotland declined to comment.