Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 17/3/98

John Dewi Williams, 44, admitted 1980, and Aidan Neal Harvey, 33, admitted 1992, practising at material time in partnership as John D Williams & Co, Washington, Tyne & Wear, reprimanded and ordered jointly to pay costs of £880. Allegations substantiated they failed to comply with decision of the Compliance and Supervision Committee and had failed to deliver accountant's reports. They had previously been before tribunal in 1995 when allegations were substantiated that, among other things, they failed to keep properly written accounts. On that occasion tribunal found them to have acted incompetently and recklessly but not dishonestly and fined Williams £7,500 and Harvey £3,000. On this occasion, tribunal gave them credit for having recognised their responsibilities and the fact that they had failed to meet them and because they had put matters right. Tribunal endorsed Law Society's decision to impose conditions upon their practising certificate.

Christopher Martin Dunham, 45, admitted 1980, practising at material time as solicitor on own account as Dunham & Co, Wolverhampton, fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,762. Allegations substantiated he failed to reply to correspondence from Law Society's monitoring unit and from the Solicitors Complaints Bureau, failed to reply to correspondence from and on behalf of clients promptly or at all, failed to deliver up deeds and documents to client promptly upon proper request and failed to reply to correspondence from beneficiaries. Tribunal said there was no doubt that behaviour of this type by a solicitor put the profession in the worst possible light. The catalogue of prevarication and non-reply was disgraceful and represented an extremely bad case of its kind. Tribunal was pleased to learn that he intended to merge his practice with another which would mean in future that he would have supervision, assistance and someone to turn to. It also recommended to Law Society that he should not be permitted to practice on own account.