Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 01/10/96

Rashpal Singh, admitted 1986, practising as R Singh & Co, Leicester, struck off and ordered to pay £2,379 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to act in best interests of building society clients; acted in circumstances where conflict of interests arose between building society clients; delayed or failed to complete conveyancing transaction; failed to supervise an assistant solicitor and in doing so breached accounts rules; wrongly drew and used client account money; failed to keep properly written books; failed or failed with reasonable expedition to pay counsel's fees when rendered; failed or failed with reasonable expedition to arrange taxation of concluded legal aid matters. Tribunal had sympathy for Singh's sad family situation but said his actions showed such a disregard for the rules binding a solicitor that despite mitigating circumstances they could not be unduly lenient.

Mark Delaney, clerk responsible under supervision of partner, for investment business of Messrs McNulty & Co, Basingstoke, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society. Allegations substantiated he had been party to financial irregularities in handling pension fund money. Tribunal said he had been employed by solicitors on basis of his expertise and what he had done was contrary to regulations. In view of his apparent propensity to ignore the effect of important investment business rules it was appropriate that his employment in the profession should be controlled.

David Burke, 39, admitted 1985, practising at material time under his own name at three addresses in London N16, WC4 and WC2, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,370 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to make his books of account available for inspection by a Law Society investigator, practised without a current practising certificate, practised at a time he had not paid his contributions to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund, practised in breach of a condition on his practising certificate. Tribunal told a "shambolic" state of affairs had been revealed in connection with Burke's practice. He had run it unsatisfactorily and his regulatory duties had been almost completely neglected. Tribunal said its order, made after re-hearing of Burke's case, should substitute an order in December last year that Burke be suspended from practice indefinitely. Tribunal ruled he should only be permitted to practice in approved employment.

Hugh Alexander Norman, 42, admitted 1984, practising at material time as partner with Hugh Norman & Co, Bristol, admonished and ordered to pay £799 costs. Allegation substantiated he failed to meet £200 compensation order made against him by Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal said Norman's behaviour had been both regrettable and foolish, but they were content to admonish him rather than impose formal disciplinary findings.

Correction: We have been asked by Avery Midgen & Co to publish a correction of the report in the 17 September issue and to point out that solicitors clerk Max Kingsley, otherwise known as Moshe Keshnet, who had been banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent from the Law Society, was not, as reported, employed by them at the time of the incidents leading to the order. The incidents involving Kingsley holding himself out to be a solicitor and making untrue statements to lending institutions in fact took place while he was at Baskin Ross of London NW11. Avery Midgen & Co and Jaque Simmons & Co were the most recent firms he had worked for, but his work for them came a number of years after the incidents leading to the disciplinary tribunal order and these firms were in no way involved. We regret any embarrassment the report may have caused.