Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 31/01/95

LAWRENCE HUGH MARTIN LORD, admitted 1975, practised as LMH Lord & Co, London SW15, struck off and ordered to pay u2,486 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to account to clients in respect of money held on their behalf, breached undertakings, breached investment business rules by holding himself out to be authorised when he was not, practised uncertificated, failed to deliver accountants report, failed to produce books for inspection. Tribunal told activities of Lord, who was jailed for unconnected offences in July last year, resulted in claims of more than u130,000 against Compensation Fund. Tribunal said allegations were serious and showed total disregard by Lord for professional obligations and for the concerns of his clients. He had practised without submitting accountants report, had not held practising certificate, was in serious breach of an undertaking and appeared to have abandoned his practice.

JOHN GRAHAM, 40, admitted 1977, practised as partner with Askews, Redcar, struck off and ordered to pay u5,694 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client money and used it for his own benefit, breached accountancy rules, breached duty of good faith to partners. Tribunal told he admitted taking and using client money. In June 1993 he was sentenced to nine months prison after appearing at Teeside Crown Court in connection with the matters complained of. In his submissions to tribunal Graham said he had been proud to qualify as a solicitor and recognised that admission to the profession brought with it not only privileges but also burdens. He accepted his own failings affected other members of the profession and that striking off was inevitable. Tribunal said case was an "extremely sad" one and no-one had suffered financial loss as result of Graham's actions. They accepted that what he had done was wholly out of character and had resulted from stress and mental illness. It hoped that when his mental health was restored he could return to the profession in a supervised capacity.

FREDERICK ARTHUR EDWARD CROSSKEY, admitted 1965, practised as Messrs Crosskeys, Croydon, fined u3,000 and ordered to pay u3,323 costs. Practice transferred to Coningsbys, Croydon. Allegations substantiated he drew and misused client money in breach of accountancy rules. Tribunal told Crosskey was bankrupted and that Compensation Fund had faced claims totalling more than u81,000. Tribunal took the view that Crosskey had been "a fool and not a knave". It did not believe that he had acted dishonestly and was impressed with his professional record and standing. It said he had shown himself to be committed to the profession and to the wider local community and that the actual breaches of which he was guilty were "not of the most heinous type", although their effect was "devastating". It considered that bearing in mind the cost to the public and profession suspension or worse would have been justified. However, he had received a lot of support and it felt he should be permitted to continue in practice to rehabilitate himself in his own eyes and the eyes of others.