© Tim Scrivener

An agricultural solicitor, who was struck off the roll of solicitors for assisting in a mortgage fraud, faces calls for an investigation into other allegations.

Peter Rhys Williams was recently banned for life from practising law following an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

A tribunal found that Mr Williams acted dishonestly and helped to conceal the amount of money made from a property sale from a mortgage lender.

See also: Dishonest ag lawyer struck off and told to pay £195,000 costs

Held last month, the tribunal ruled that Mr Williams helped a bankrupt client hide the full sale price of the property from Northern Rock to avoid paying back the full £2.9m loan.

The tribunal in London heard Mr Williams devised a “scheme” for a client, who had been declared bankrupt in April 2009, to “net a significant profit” from the sale of a property.

Mr Williams has denied all wrongdoing and is preparing an appeal.


But he now faces a call for the Serious Fraud Office to investigate complaints that he gave negligent advice, which resulted in farmers being mis-sold loans.

Some of the loans had interest rates as high as 22%, as well as high arrangement fees and redemption fees, according to The Telegraph website.

Many clients were driven into bankruptcy, with some said to have been so desperate that they took their own lives, it reports.

In one case, says The Telegraph, dairy farmer Robert Cowling, 49, was found dead in a field on January 21, 2014, after suffering fatal gunshot wounds at Little Crapnell Farm, near Wells.

Former MP Elfyn Llwyd, who was one of the first to highlight Mr Williams’ alleged activities, told the website it was one of the worst financial scandals he had come across.

“At least 80 farmers were involved, many lost their farms as a result of these loans, and some became so desperate at their livelihood being taken from them that they took their own lives.”

Mr Llwyd, a barrister and former MP for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, said the Serious Fraud Office should investigate with a view to assessing whether criminal charges should be brought.

Mr Williams “vehemently denied” the “baseless” allegations, saying he did not propose to make any further comment until after his appeal hearing.