Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 21/4/98

John Mushens Ditchburn, 80, admitted 1945, practising at material time on own account as Bretherton Ditchburn and Nelson in Sunderland, reprimanded with no order for costs. He had qualified as a solicitor in 1943 having passed his examinations while a prisoner of war in Czechoslovakia. Allegations substantiated that he used funds purportedly for costs, submitted bills for costs in circumstances that he knew he could not justify and failed to comply with direction made by the Professional Regulation Casework Sub Committee of the Compliance and Supervision Committee of the Law Society. Tribunal noted its belief that if the Office for Supervision of Solicitors had been apprised of the circumstances then it would have been most unlikely to have referred the matter to the tribunal. The office considered that a rebuke was an appropriate sanction.

Barbara Ann Kennett, solicitor's clerk of Rochester, employed at material time as legal cashier by Ross & Co, Faversham, banned from further employment by a solicitor without written permission of the Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £1,667. Allegation substantiated that she had been guilty of conduct of such a nature it would be undesirable for her to be employed by a solicitor in connection with practice as solicitor. She had made numerous improper transfers from client to office bank account.

Glenn Heaton, 34, admitted 1988, practising at material time in partnership as Heaton Evans, Bermondsey, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £4,823. Allegations substantiated that he wrongly drew money out of client account, utilised client funds for purposes of other clients and himself, misappropriated client funds, failed to disclose material information to clients and failed to act in affairs of a client with due diligence. Tribunal expressed sympathy for the young solicitor but said it could not ignore fact that he had misappropriated client funds and had taken a dishonest course of action.