Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 21/05/96

Phillip John Leslie Stokes, 43, admitted 1980, practised as Gardeners, Southampton, struck off and ordered to pay £568 costs. Allegations substantiated he was convicted of offence of dishonesty, practised as solicitor without current practising certificate for years commencing November 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, held himself to be entitled to practise as solicitor notwithstanding indefinite suspension of his rights. Stokes jailed for three years after conviction at Kinghtsbridge Crown Court in May 1995, on three counts of conspiracy to defraud and one of obtaining property by deception. Fraud offences totalling £150,000 involved dishonesty scheme whereby cheques were passed on via document exchange. Deception offence occurred while Stokes on bail for cheques offences. He opened office in Southampton in name of solicitor who had emigrated to the US but whose name still remained on roll and then became involved in £82,000 mortgage fraud. Stokes previously before tribunal in 1991. Tribunal said his behaviour had gone from bad to worse and he had "embraced dishonesty on a large scale".

Phyton Fitzmaurice Henry George Andrews, 49, admitted 1986, practising at material time as Maurice Andrews, Birmingham, fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £918 costs. Allegations substantiated he made intemperate comments in correspondence and failed to reply to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Andrews before tribunal in July 1992 and February 1995, fined £3,000 and £1,500 respectively.

Joseph Hill, 39, practising at material time as Joseph Hill & Co, Tottenham, London, fined £1,500. Allegations substantiated he failed to secure payment of counsel's fees when they became due, failed to lodge bills in legally aided matters within reasonable time, and delayed conduct of professional business. Tribunal satisfied problems encountered by respondent while he was building up practice had now been largely overcome.

Richard Llwellyn, 49, admitted 1973, practised in partnership under name of of Kevin J O'Hara, Portsmouth, reprimanded and ordered to pay £821 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to comply with professional undertaking, failed to reply to letters from other solicitors and/or Solicitors Complaints Bureau.

Alexander Anatol Nich-olls, 52, admitted 1972, practised as Francis Nicholls & Co, Southampton, struck off and ordered to pay £725 costs. Allegations substantiated he was convicted at Snaresbrook Crown Court in December 1994 of conspiracy to defraud and jailed for 18 months. Tribunal told offences involved presentation of two counterfeit and forged cheques for £417,125 and £834,250.