Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 16/9/97

Phillip Leonard George Avery, 51, admitted 1973, and Michael Lyn Barrie, 49, admitted 1985, practising at material time in partnership as Avery Barrie & Co, Taunton, Somerset, respectively struck off and ordered to pay £3,500 costs, and suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £1,494 costs. Allegations substantiated that, among other things, they failed to exercise proper supervision of their financial services staff, failed to account properly to clients in respect of commission received, failed to investigate and maintain records of complaints, used client funds for their own purposes and those of other clients, failed to keep properly written accounts. Tribunal told that as a result of their activities, 11 applications had been made to Law Society Compensation Fund and grants paid out totalled £183,713 with pending outstanding claims of £5,087. Avery is said to have begun as a sole practitioner with a trade union client base and to have been joined in 1989 by Barrie, a former barrister. Avery previously before tribunal in 1987 when he was fined £1,000. Tribunal took view that Barrie, previously a chancery barrister whose practice would not have equipped him for financial and practice management, had "worked in a vacuum".

John Andrew Esling, 42, admitted 1990, practising at material time on own account in Southampton, mainly specialising in non-contentious marine practice, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay £1,318 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to deliver accountants' report in pursuance with rules, failed to produce account books in compliance with rules, failed to keep account books properly written up, attempted to draw money from client account other than permitted by rules. Tribunal told Esling asserted that a £4,044 cheque for school fees was drawn on his client account in error. Tribunal said he should not be permitted to practice until he had managed to put his house in order and had convinced the Tribunal he was properly aware of the burdens relating to practice.