Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 21/10/97

Sidney Davidson, 75, admitted 1947, practising at material time as solicitor on own account under name of Davidsons, London N7, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £6,015. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep proper accounts, failed to pay clients' money into client account, drew money from client account other than permitted by rules, used clients' funds for his own purpose and acted where his own interests conflicted with interests of clients. Tribunal said that he had behaved dishonestly after what appeared to be a long and unblemished career in the law and such behaviour could not be tolerated in the solicitors' profession.

Arvind Patel, 36, admitted 1986, practising at material time as Chetty & Patel, Leicester, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £546 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to reply promptly or at all to correspondence from other solicitors or the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors. Tribunal said it took a serious view of failure to respond to correspondence from professional body and that failure to respond to other solicitors caused frustration, inconvenience, anxiety and expense, and was unacceptable.

Philip Alexander Hirst, 41, admitted 1983, practising at material time in partnership as TI Clough & Co, Bradford, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £760 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to reply to letters from the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS). Tribunal told that the OSS wrote to him following complaints from two former clients but that he had failed to make a substantive response in respect of either complaint. Tribunal recognised that Hirst had endured a particularly stressful time and was a good and competent solicitor, but said that the reputation of profession would inevitably suffer from such delays.