Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 11/07/95

CHRISTOPHER JAMES ANDREWS, admitted 1979, practised as CJ Andrews, London W2, struck off and ordered to pay £2,074 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and used client funds, failed to keep books properly and had been jailed for dishonesty. Andrews is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence imposed on him at Knightsbridge Crown Court for theft on 14 October last year. Tribunal told Andrews admitted improperly withdrawing £270,045 of client money and transferring it to an account in his own name in Spain. Compensation fund has paid out £404,716 in respect of 13 applications and pending claims total £711,186. Some £223,516 has been recovered. Andrews apologised and admitted taking client money and going to Spain. He hoped tribunal would not strike him off. Tribunal said it was unconscionable that Andrews should be permitted to continue to practice.

GRAHAM FOSTER HARRISON, admitted 1970, practised as Harrisons, Stockton- on-Tees, Cleveland, struck off and ordered to pay £2,680 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and used client funds for own purposes and failed to keep books properly. Tribunal told investigation accountant discovered cash shortage of £261,348 after inspection of Harrison's books. Harrison admitted shortage, which he was unable to replace, was attributable to improper transfers for his personal benefit from client to office bank account. He said transfers had been made under guise of costs and, except latterly, covered by posted bills. Tribunal said case revealed "the utmost dishonesty" and there had been 48 applications to the compensation fund. Total of £56,683 had been paid out with pending applications totalling £327,27.

DAVID ANTHONY TANDY, admitted 1971, practised in partnership as Talbots, Stourbridge, suspended for six months and ordered to pay £2,033 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to comply with terms of professional undertaking relating to forwarding of money in property transaction. Tandy said he acknowledged importance of solicitors' undertakings. He said he was not a dishonest person but had been duped by an accomplished fraudster. Tribunal said there was little in a solicitor's professional up-bringing to equip them against the onslaught of a major fraudster. But the trust in a solicitor's undertaking was at the heart of professional life. Tandy had done what a solicitor should not do, namely given an irrevocable undertaking when he was not in funds to support it. Such conduct struck at the heart of the profession's credibility.