Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 3/3/98

Neil Harget, 43, admitted 1992, practising at material time on own account as The Harget-Dash Partnership, Stratford, London E15, suspended for indefinite period and ordered to pay £864 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep properly written accounts or produce books of account for inspection, practised as a solicitor without a practising certificate and had abandoned his practice. He had been before the tribunal in March 1997 and had been ordered to pay a fine of £1,000 for failing to keep proper accounts. Tribunal said it was unable to avoid the conclusion that he had abandoned his responsibilities as a solicitor and made no attempt to comply. Tribunal found it difficult to decide on sanctions as there had been no allegation of dishonesty. It said that it was not likely to entertain an application for determination of indefinite suspension until he could show that his house was in order.

Paul Philip Gitsham, 47, admitted 1974, practising at material time in partnership as Paul Gitsham & Co, Camelford, struck off and ordered to pay £4,361 costs. Allegations substantiated that he misappropriated clients money. Tribunal said he had become mentally ill. It had sympathy for his wife who had continued to support him. But the breaches were serious and of a continuing nature. In none of the letters and reports was it suggested that at the time of the breaches he did not know what he was doing.

David Benjamin Morris, 54, admitted 1965, practising at material time on own account as DB Morris & Co, London, W1, fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,092. Allegations substantiated that he had been guilty of unreasonable delay in dealing with clients' affairs and failed with reasonable expedition to progress the matter in connection with an estate. Tribunal expressed dismay that he was appearing before it after appearing in 1994 when same client matter had been subject of disciplinary proceedings. Tribunal found that he had made cavalier promises to placate beneficiaries. It considered it right to impose a high fine.