Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 14/10/97

Michael Peter Anthony Baldwin, 65, admitted 1974, practising at material time as partner in Woollcombe Yonge, Plymouth, struck off and ordered to pay £4,848 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to disclose to a beneficiary, his wife, her entitlement under terms of a trust of which he was trustee, and failed to make full disclosure to court of his assets in context of matrimonial proceedings concerning himself and his wife. Tribunal said trustee had clear moral and legal obligations not only to those who appoint him but to those who are beneficiaries. Trustee is under a duty to behave in a way which is entirely open and above board and in a way which was right, proper and fair. Solicitor should not retain case if unable to deal with it objectively. Baldwin said to have dishonestly failed to disclose material facts in affidavits as device to serve his own ends and to the detriment of former wife. This struck at heart of means by which courts attempt to assess rights of parties in matrimonial proceedings.

Daniel Paul Jerome, 35, admitted 1991, practising at material time as assistant solicitor with Breeze Benton & Co, London E3, reprimanded and ordered to pay costs to be taxed. Allegations substantiated he had been found guilty of contempt of court. Tribunal told he was subject of proceedings for injunctive relief brought by former employer in respect of threatened or actual breaches of restrictive covenant contained in partnership agreement. Proceedings settled on his undertaking not to solicit professional custom or business from, or act or be concerned as solicitor for, any person who was a client of his former employer while he was employed there. Former employer launched proceedings for contempt, alleging one breach of undertaking, which was proved. No order made save he was ordered to pay costs of application. Tribunal regretted that wrangling between practitioners should have taken up so much court time and considered it hard to imagine anything which would better serve to undermine good reputation of solicitors' profession.