A Collyer-Bristow lawyer owes $250,000 (£172,000) plus considerable interest claims after being found liable for the involvement of a consultant of his former firm in a letter of credit fraud
Nick Kanaar, formerly of Kanaar & Co, was criticised in last week’s judgment by Mr Justice Patten for failing to notice that the fraud was taking place. Former Kanaar & Co consultant Richard Kendall-Bush had been advising claimant Hans David De Beer in relation to the sale of letters of credit. As a deposit, De Beer had transferred $250,000 into the account of Kendall-Bush, who then wrongly released the money in direct contravention of the instructions of his client. Nick Kanaar denied liability and, while the judge ruled that Kanaar had been involved upto a late stage, he accepted that he had no involvement in the fraud and had no knowledge that Kendall-Bush would take the money. Kanaar told The Lawyer that he was “very upset” with the decision. Liability falls on the Solicitor’s Indemnity Fund, represented by Reynold Chart of Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. “My client is considering applying for permission to appeal,” he said. Prior to the recent action, Kendall-Bush, who did not appear at the High Court, was struck off by a Law Society disciplinary tribunal and made bankrupt as he had to pay his own costs. A further hearing will take place on 8 May where the level of interest to be paid, costs, and Kanaar’s application for permission to appeal will be decided.