Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 05/09/95

JACK GEORGE TRUST-HAM, 64, admitted 1969 and CHRISTOPHER JOHN GREY, 50, admitted 1971, practising at material time as Wigram & Co, London W1, fined £3,500 each and ordered to pay £4,224 costs.

Allegations substantiated they wrongly drew client money, failed to pay client money into client account and failed to comply with terms of professional undertaking. Tribunal was told no dishonesty was alleged. Problems with their accounting system had included a lack of communication between cashier and respondents, insufficient care to ensure accountancy arithmetic was correct and a lack of adequate internal records of unpaid bills. Tribunal said that while neither respondent had been dishonest they had adopted "a somewhat lackadaisical approach to formal book keeping".

STEPHEN JONATHAN CASS, 51, admitted 1969, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,239 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to reply to correspondence from a client, other solicitors and Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal told he had responded to some correspondence but that seven client letters, six from other

solicitors and eight from the bureau were unanswered. In his submissions to tribunal Cass said he had suffered a heart attack and had been prescribed medication. He said while he recognised he had been stupid, matters which were the subject of complaint could easily be rectified. Tribunal said failure of solicitors to reply to correspondence caused inconvenience, anxiety and expense.

ROBERT JOHN CLEM-ENTS, 51, admitted, 1973, and DAVID FISHER LANGFORD, 39, admitted 1981 and who practised with Cambridge Law Consultants and Richard Hirst and Co, Cambridge, respectively struck off and ordered to pay £909 costs and fined £1,000 with £557 costs. Allegations substantiated both practised uncertificated and Clements additionally misled a client, was guilty of unreasonable delay in a client's affairs, failed to respond to correspondence from clients and other solicitors and failed to account to a client in respect of money. Tribunal told Langford had previously fined £250 for accountancy breaches in 1992. Clements had been before it in 1975 and 1993 when he was fined £400 and £2,000 respectively. Previous complaints against him included touting, accountancy breaches, failure to deal promptly with Solicitors Complaints Bureau correspondence and failure to arrange adequate supervision of his office while abroad. Tribunal said that as Langford had ceased to practice and had indicated that he did not intend to practise again, it considered a financial penalty would be appropriate. In Clements' case it said he had adopted a "cavalier disregard for the rules of the solicitor's profession". His clients had suffered and he appeared to "rejoice in confusion". It did not consider that he was fit to be a solicitor.