Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 12/8/97

Charles William Marshall Bucknall, 47, admitted 1976, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £8,467 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client funds, wrongly used client funds for his own purposes, practised without a current practising certificate, failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to comply with the instructions received from a mortgagee and/or misled a mortgagee client, improperly requested an employee to falsely sign as a witness to a signature in a transfer document when the employee had not been present when the document was signed. Tribunal said it had before it a "catalogue of complaints" and was concerned at the pattern of the complaints. Bucknall, who tribunal said was at best disorganised, gave the impression of being unable to cope both with the demands of professional work for clients and the essential administration and regulatory requirements of a solicitor in practice.

James Anthony Edward O'Malley, 41, admitted 1994, practising at material times on his own account as James O'Malley & Co, Worcester, struck off and ordered to pay £1,743 costs. Allegations substantiated that he was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 30 May this year to 42 months prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to falsify a document required for accounting purposes. Tribunal was told the offences related to fraudulent claims made to the Legal Aid Board in respect of claims for costs pursuant to the green form scheme. O'Malley was tried with other conspirators who were non-lawyers. Tribunal said that O'Malley's behaviour amounted to conduct unbefitting a solicitor at the highest end of the scale, and while he did not appear to have been the prime mover in the matter, he had permitted himself to be manipulated in the undertaking of certain work over which he had failed to exercise control.