Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 07/05/96

Paul Graeme Emmott, 38, admitted 1989, practising at material time as Emmott Harrison, Wakefield, suspended for six months and ordered to pay £2,065 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to comply with decision of Conduct Committee, failed to deliver accountants reports.Tribunal accepted he had not been guilty of dishonesty but said it appeared he had been tempted to "dip into clients' funds in order to keep his practice afloat".

Gary Scott, 35, admitted 1987, practised in partnership with Nelsons, London WC1, suspended for two years. Allegations substantiated he wrongly acted for vendor and purchaser in a transfer of land at arms length, permitted his firm to act when his interests were in conflict with a client of the firm. Tribunal said no allegation of dishonesty had been made against Scott but in view of different explanations he had given, it had to be said he had been "less than frank" in dealing with the matter.

David Cochran, 51, admitted 1982, practised as David Cochran,Tiverton, Devon, who voluntarily removed his name from the roll in 1992, refused restoration and ordered to pay £3,643 costs. Tribunal said Cochran was said to have wrongly drawn and used client money, failed to keep accounts properly, to have acted for client when his own interests conflicted with those of the client, failed to carry out client instructions, failed to post client money to relevant clients, failed to honour terms of professional undertaking, misappropriated client funds. Tribunal said there were clear breaches of Solicitors' Rules, dishonestly perpetrated by Cochran, some supported by criminal charges for which he had served a custodial sentence. If he had still been on the roll he would have been struck off. His steps to achieve voluntary removal of his name from the roll did not absolve him from his responsibilities at a time when he was a practising solicitor.

Arthur Robert Thompson, 52, admitted 1968, practising as AR Thompson, Buckingham, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £703 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to deliver accountant's report in respect of years ended 1994 and 1995.

Dorothy Kirkpatrick, legal secretary at material times with Michael Hill Partnership, Leicester, banned from working for further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay £516 costs. Allegations substantiated she attempted to defraud her employers. Tribunal told cash shortage of £28,498 caused solely by Kirkpatrick's misappropriation of client funds.

Celia Ruth Crofts, 34, admitted 1989, practised with Deacon Goldrein Green, Liverpool, struck off and ordered to pay £2,473 costs. Allegations substantiated she dishonestly misappropriated client funds for her own personal use, breached her duty of good faith to her partners and breached accounting rules. Tribunal told she dishonestly misappropriated client money and misused client funds for benefit of another client in order to cover up earlier misappropriation.