Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 16/07/96

Ian Alldis Coutts, 52, admitted 1971, practising at material times as Coutts, St Peter Port, Guernsey, fined £1,00 and ordered to pay £890 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to deliver accountants report on time and failed to comply with decision of conduct committee of adjudication & appeals committee of Solicitors Complaints Bureau ordering him to file his accounts. Tribunal said preparation and filing of accountants' reports on time was vital.

Richard Andrew Nicholson, solicitors clerk from 1986 to 1994 with Steel & Shamash, London SE1, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay £1,834 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client and office funds totalling £2,600 while debt collecting for the firm. Tribunal told money was entrusted to him by clients who believed they were paying it to the firm. Tribunal said it accepted Nicholson had been subjected to considerable pressures which had adversely effected his mental state but no pressure was so great as to excuse the dishonest pocketing of money paid to an employer firm in good faith by its client.

Trevor Featonby Turnbull, 63, admitted 1958, practising at material times as TF Turnbull, Bishop Aukland, County Durham, fined £500. Allegations substantiated he failed to comply with resolution of conduct committee of adjudication & appeals committee of the Solicitors Complaints Bureau ordering him to file an accountants report.

Bernard James Ewart, 41, admitted 1980, practising at material times as Ewart & Co, Armley, Leeds, fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,807 costs. Allegation substantiated he failed to keep properly written accounts. Tribunal told at time of hearing Ewart's books were still not up to date and this failure represented an "abdication of his responsibility". Tribunal said penalty reflected Ewart's financial position rather than the seriousness with which it regarded his short-comings.