Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 02/12/97

Shushil Ramanbhaj Patel, admitted 1977, practising at material time as a solicitor on own account as SR Patel & Co, in High Holborn, until November 1987, initially struck off and ordered to pay costs of £2,214. When it became known that he had already been struck off, the tribunal substituted order that he be prohibited from reinstatement without its consent. The order for costs remained unchanged. Allegations substantiated that: he failed to deliver accountant's reports pursuant to the rules; failed to produce books of account for inspection as required; failed to pay monies received for, and on behalf of, clients into client account; withdrew monies from client account other than in accordance with rules, and; was guilty of unreasonable delay in paying counsel's fees. The tribunal was forced to conclude that he had completely abdicated his responsibility as a solicitor and that there was strong evidence of dishonesty in respect of unexplained shortage of clients' funds.

Ethel Laycock, solicitor's clerk, employed by, or otherwise associated with, John Foley & Co of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £849-53. Allegation substantiated that she committed breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules regarding clients' money. The tribunal could not overlook the seriousness of the behaviour of a solicitor's clerk who abuses that trust and behaves dishonestly to further her own interests.

Timothy John Reed, 34, admitted 1993, at material time employed as assistant solicitor to KL Sturtivant, sole principal solicitor practising as Sturtivant and Co, London W1, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £1,520-67. Allegation substantiated that he had misappropriated funds to which his employer was entitled. The tribunal observed that this was a serious matter involving dishonesty and that it was a matter of great regret that, having received encouragement within the solicitors' profession to qualify as one of its number, he proved to be a person who did not meet the requisite standards of probity, integrity and trustworthiness demanded.