Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 17/01/95

DAVID ERNEST JAMES (formerly David Ernest Rowe), 51, admitted 1980, sole practitioner in Milton Keynes, struck off. Allegations substantiated he behaved in fashion that impaired or was likely to impair his integrity and good repute of profession; acted in way that was deceitful or contrary to his position as solicitor; failed to act towards another solicitor with frankness and good faith; practised without current practising certificate; was employed as solicitor while suspended; held himself out to be entitled to practice when he had no practising certificate. James was previously before tribunal in June 1990 when he was suspended for two years following allegations he breached accountancy rules; misused client money; failed to reply in reasonable time, or at all, to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau, clients and other solicitors; failed to apply for remuneration certificate in accordance with requirements of clients; practised without current practising certificate. Tribunal said respondent's conduct had brought profession into serious disrepute. There had been "disgraceful" dishonesty and subterfuge towards his employer and building society clients. He demonstrated that he was not fit to practise as solicitor.

EAMONN JOHN RICHARD FORSDIKE, 41, and admitted 1978, and LAWRENCE MICHAEL HOLMAN, 35, admitted 1984, practised in partnership as Forsdike & Co, Epping, Essex, struck off and ordered to pay u4,086 costs between them. Allegations substantiated they dishonestly or improperly used client money for their own purposes; withdrew client money in breach of accounting rules; failed to keep properly written books; failed to account in respect of money held on behalf of client. Tribunal told client funds used in wholly improper ways. At time of tribunal hearing u536,407 paid out by Law Society Compensation Fund and claims of a further u90,038 pending. Tribunal said a substantial shortfall in their client account could only indicate that client money had not been properly handled. Failure to look after clients' money with extreme care and fairness was a very serious matter indeed and served to undermine the good reputation of the solicitors' profession.

PHILLIP VINOBE KAMALCHANDRA DEBIDEN, 37, admitted 1990, practised as assistant solicitor with Ronald Fletcher & Co, London W9, reprimanded and ordered to pay u1,000 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised uncertified for a period, and failed or failed within reasonable time to respond to correspondence and an enquiry from the Solicitors Complaints Bureau querying whether he held a practice certificate. Debiden admitted complaints against him but said he had been under great strain having been accused of running a bogus firm of solicitors and perpetrating a mortgage fraud. He had been prosecuted and convicted but later appealed successfully against his conviction. Tribunal said it could understand although not excuse his behaviour. In the circumstances it felt it was able to be lenient.