Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 29/11/94

NIGEL MARK HUNTINGTON, 28, admitted 1992, practised as assistant solicitor with Bell Lamb Joynson, Liverpool, struck off and ordered to pay u750 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money and used it for his own purposes, and misused office funds for own purposes. Tribunal told Huntington had written to Solicitors' Complaints Bureau admitting the allegations and misappropriation of client money. He was said to have bought a property in Liverpool, found himself in financial difficulties with mortgage arrears and to have "looked to the client account to assist him". He arranged for cheques to be drawn in favour of the Halifax Building Society and to discharge utility bills. Tribunal said it regretted that a young solicitor should have behaved in such a "dishonest and dishonourable" way.

MICHAEL HUGH GREET, 46, admitted 1976, practised as MH Greet & Co, Bristol, fined u3,000 and ordered to pay u1,654 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money and used it for own purposes, failed to keep proper accounts, failed to pay money in to client account without delay, failed in breach of practising certificate condition to deliver half yearly accountant's report. Tribunal told investigation accountant's report revealed "appalling state of affairs" in respect of Greet's books. In his submissions Greet said his confidence in his cashier book-keeper had been misplaced. He said difficulties in getting paid criminal legal aid had also contributed to his problems. Tribunal said he had been guilty of serious book-keeping failures although it accepted there had been no dishonesty. It hoped respondent had now learned his lesson.

THOMAS EDMUND MICHAEL MCMANUS, 42, admitted 1980, practised in Oldham, fined u500 and ordered to pay costs of u1,325. Practice since disposed of to Messrs Platt Halpern, Oldham. Allegations substantiated he practised without certificate, wrongly drew client money and used it for own purposes or that of other clients, improperly published on his stationery that he was authorised to carry on investment business after authority for such business had been withdrawn by Law Society. Tribunal told dishonesty not alleged. In his submissions to tribunal McManus said he worked long hours and his priority had been to put client interests first. He agreed he had not undertaken administrative work thoroughly. He also said confusion over issue of a practising certificate was one of the major problems he had faced. He said his personal situation was difficult and at one stage he had been declared bankrupt, although the bankruptcy was later annulled. Tribunal said McManus' misfortunes had been his own fault. However, it accepted his explanations and was able to be lenient.