Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/5/98

Michael Robert Campbell, 36, admitted 1988, practising at material time on own account as Campbells, St Neots, reprimanded and ordered to pay costs of £5,104. Allegations substantiated that he had been guilty of breaches of Solicitors Accounts Rules and had failed to give a sufficient explanation to the Compliance and Conduct Committee of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. Tribunal said he was a conscientious man badly served by his accountant, and had found himself out of his depth. Tribunal noted the cost of the enquiry and saw little point in imposing a financial penalty.

Christopher Roger Excell-Thomas, 54, admitted 1968, practising at material time in partnership as Barnes Thomas & Co, Sheffield, fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,210. Allegations substantiated that he failed to reply – or failed to reply with reasonable expedition – to correspondence and enquiries addressed to him by clients, other solicitors and the Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal noted that the matter which had given rise to complaints of late or no replies to correspondence had been a difficult case, but this did not excuse his failure to respond to Solicitors Complaints Bureau.

Anil Vaji Sanghani, solicitor's clerk employed by Russell-Clayton & Co, Wembley, responsible for conduct of professional business of clients of firm including conduct of litigation matters, banned from further employment by solicitor without written permission from Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £3,155. Allegations substantiated that he accepted instructions from two clients where there was a conflict of interest, drew money or knew of money being drawn from client account other than in accordance with the rules, and misused clients' funds. Tribunal noted that he had been a clerk for many years and found his behaviour unacceptable. He had manipulated client money without any regard for the principle that the interest of the client is paramount and with a total disregard for the Solicitors Account Rules.