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Two partners at the Scottish office of leading personal injuries and trades union firm Robin Thompson & Partners have gone on trial at Edinburgh Sheriff court charged with fraud.
The issues involved in the case concern the recovery of litigation costs from opponents following successful litigations.
Partners David Stevenson and Lawrence Lumsden both deny overcharging other solicitors following completion of such cases.
The prosecution alleges they overcharged a total of 13 times between December 1985 and May 1992, to the accumulated value of u2,673.
Solicitors' firms that the partners are accused of overcharging are: Simpson & Marwick; McClure Naismith Anderson & Gardner; Balfour Manson Nightingale & Bell; Cochran, Sayers & Cook; and the regional solicitor of Lothian Regional Council.
The case may have serious implications for other firms of Scottish solicitors, who are known to be watching the case closely.
The court heard allegations that such overcharging is standard "local accounting practice" in law firms.
Robin Thompson & Co has given its support to the two partners, who were charged with fraud when they appeared at the Edinburgh Sheriff court on petition 12 months ago.