Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 07/03/95

DAVID JOHN KELL-EGHER, 45, admitted 1976, practised on own account as King & Co, Oldham, Lancashire, struck off and ordered to pay u2,160 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised without a current practising certificate, wrongly drew client money and used client money for own purposes, failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to deliver accountant's reports in accordance with rules. Tribunal told Kellegher moved money from client account to office account to bolster office account and assist him with personal liabilities. Law Society had intervened in practice in 1993 on grounds of Kellegher's suspected dishonesty. Claims totalling u17,237 had been made against the compensation fund. Only u183 had been recovered by fund in respect of these claims and it was unlikely there would be any further recovery. Tribunal said it was clear that Kellegher could not answer allegations made against him. However, the cash shortages were indisputable and whatever Kellegher's personal circumstances there could be no excuse for the wrongful utilisation of client money.

CLIFFORD PALMER BIRD, 51, admitted 1969, practised as Clifford T Bird & Co, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, struck off and ordered to pay u1,894 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money and used it for own purposes. Tribunal told probe by investigation accountant revealed minimum client account shortage of u79,211 in May 1994. Bird said to have had substantial debit on office account and payments from client account said to have been made direct into a personal account he held. Bird, who was before tribunal in 1991 when he was fined u750, told tribunal he was ashamed at appearing before them and that he came to them "from the depths of des-pair". He said he had suffered from stress related to business worries since 1985 and had received hospital treatment for his mental health. Tribunal said client money was sacrosanct and compliance with accounting rules was essential for protection of client money and good reputation of the profession. Transfer of client money direct to a personal account had to be regarded with the utmost seriousness.

EDWARD RUSSELL JENKINS, admitted 1963, practising at material time as Russell Jenkins, Cardiff, fined u1,000 and ordered to pay u2,164 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew client money which he used for his own purposes and failed to keep properly written accounts. Tribunal told that although Jenkins was accused of using client money for his own purposes, dishonesty was not alleged. The allegation centred on the unallocated transfer from client to office bank account of u2,000 and was made on the basis that once the money had been moved in this way Jenkins had the benefit of it. Tribunal said in light of Jenkins' admitted shortcomings in respect of administration matters they considered it would be unwise for him to practice on his own in the future.