A former solicitor from Hersham pretended to work for HM Revenue and Customs in a bid to get information about the disciplinary investigation that struck him off.

Paul Baxendale-Walker, 52, of Rabbit Lane, a well-known designer of tax avoidance schemes and who had written extensively on the use of employee remuneration trusts to avoid tax, was struck off as a solicitor at a tribunal hearing in 2007.

He then used a false name to write to the Law Society on what appeared to be HMRC-headed paper to try to get an admission of wrongdoing to overturn the tribunal’s decision, the revenue said in a statement.

Baxendale-Walker lost a case at the High Court after submitting a claim for damages in August 2010, but during the proceedings the judge had indicated he may have committed offences by impersonating a HMRC officer.

He denied the charges but eventually pleaded guilty to one count of forgery on April 15.

He was fined £15,015 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £210,000 at Guildford Crown Court.

Five other counts of fraud will remain on file.

Judge Peter Moss said: “Your intention in writing the letter was to lead the recipient to telling you things he would otherwise not have done.

“You determined by trick and underhand means to pursue an individual who was correctly employed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

“Such people are entitled to be protected from the harassment you subjected them to.”