Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 19/5/98

Malcolm Francis Turnbull, 52, admitted 1973, practising until April 1991 in partnership of Turnbull Williams, each partner then pursuing his own career elsewhere, struck off. Turnbull adjudged bankrupt on 12 October, 1993 after which Law Society granted him a conditional practising certificate. He had ceased to practise as a solicitor in July 1996. Allegations substantiated that he failed to act in best interests of lender clients by not providing material information to them, accepted instructions to act for two clients where there was significant risk of conflict of interest, abused firm's lending facilities by concealing from lender exact nature of facilities sought, and acted (other than in his professional capacity) towards his partner in a way which was deceitful or contrary to his position as a solicitor. Tribunal was appalled by his cavalier attitude in professional dealings and was unable to avoid concluding that he had not acted with the probity, integrity and trustworthiness required of a member of the profession.

Stephen Charles Izod, 44, admitted 1978, and Glynn Edward Davies, 43, admitted 1979, practising together at material times in partnership as Izod & Co, St James's, SW1, fined £4,000 each and ordered to pay costs jointly of £5,058. Allegations substantiated that they failed to deliver an accountant's report and breached Accounts Rules. The tribunal noted that the accountant's report had been delivered some two months late and considered this to be the less serious of the two allegations. However, tribunal said that handling of clients' money other than in accordance with the rules was a more serious matter. If they had found themselves in serious financial difficulty there was no doubt that money representing counsel's fees or other disbursements held on office account would have been placed in jeopardy. This was precisely the mischief that the Accounts Rules were designed to avoid. Tribunal considered it right to mark disapproval of their behaviour by imposing a financial penalty on each of them at the higher end of the scale.