Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 11/02/97

Geoffrey Graham, 46, admitted 1984, practising as Graham & Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, suspended indefinitely. Allegations substantiated he failed or unreasonably delayed in accounting to clients in respect of their money, failed or failed with reasonable expedition to pay agents fees, failed to act in accordance with Solicitors Complaints Bureau direction, delayed or failed to arrange taxation of costs, acted in breach of an undertaking, failed to respond to correspondence from other solicitors, delayed or failed to deal with reasonable expedition with client instructions.

Tribunal said that there had been no allegation of dishonesty but, while the tribunal had some sympathy for Graham, the long catalogue of failures added up to a serious overall situation.

Ian Peter Ashworth, 40, admitted 1983, practising at material time in partnership with O Collier Littler & Kilberg, Manchester, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay £840 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to act towards other solicitors with frankness and good faith consistent with over-riding duty to client, failed to deal promptly or at all with correspondence from SCB. Ashworth previously before tribunal in April and July 1994 and May 1995. Tribunal reached conclusion Ashworth suffered from an

inability to cope with pressures of practice.

Nigel Simon Nicholas Burnell, 45, admitted 1977, practising at material times with Pinsent & Co, Birmingham, struck off and ordered to pay £2,115 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client funds and was responsible for false accounting documents in relation to those funds. Tribunal told that Burnell had been responsible for wrongfully making out client account cheques ranging in size from £964 to £6,000 and totalling over £25,000.

Tribunal said he had acted with considerable dishonesty over a two year period and his conduct was at the "highest end" of unbefitting conduct.>