Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 9/9/97

Michael Peter Seward, 40, admitted 1982 and Anthony David Lea, admitted 1979, practising at material times as Michael Seward and Co, Warrington and St Helens, respectively fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,049 costs, and £500 with a £1,000 costs order. Allegations substantiated that Seaward wrongly drew and used client account money for his own purposes. Allegation substantiated Lea wrongly drew client money. Tribunal dismissed allegation that Lea used client account money for his own purposes saying he was a salaried partner with Seward and could not be said to have utilised client funds for his own purposes or to have misappropriated such funds. It said there was lack of proper attention to fundamental matters. While Seward's handling of client money had been reckless, they accepted he was competent in the handling of client's legal affairs and that he had not acted dishonestly.

Harold Edward Shrimpton, 54, admitted 1969, practising at material times as Shrimpton & Co, Maidstone, fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,011 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to pay funds received from clients or on behalf of clients into client account, wrongly drew and used client money for his own purposes and paid client funds into his office account. Tribunal said it accepted there had been no dishonesty but that Shrimpton had been guilty of "muddle" and failure to put matters right promptly.