Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 04/0696

Irving Brown, 65, admitted 1978, practising at material times as Irving Brown & Daughter, London E6, fined £10,000. Allegations substantiated he established and operated solicitors practice principally managed by unqualified clerk in improper circumstances having regard to the extent of his knowledge of the clerk and supervision provided; he was in possession of information that the clerk was dishonest having been convicted of serious offences and sentenced to prison but failed to take reasonable or sufficient steps to protect the public or profession; and that he established and operated practice on basis that unqualified clerk would be entitled to receive half the gross fees to cover, among other things, office overheads for which the clerk would be responsible. Appeal against findings lodged.

Dina Dattani, 36, admitted 1984, practising at material times as Dattani, London SE19, fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £1,321 costs. Allegations substantiated she improperly used client funds for her own purposes, breached accounting matters and handling of client account money, and failed to keep properly written books of accounts. Dattani previously before tribunal in 1993 when she was fined £3,000.

Richard Francis Thomas, 43, admitted 1980, practised at material times as Richard Thomas & Co, Mumbles, Swansea, fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £2,584 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to keep properly written accounts, wrongly drew money from client account, used client funds for his own purpose. Tribunal told Thomas had not been guilty of dishonesty but had used very unsophisticated method of recording notes on his files and had left his records "in something of a mess".

Roger Riley, litigation clerk at material times with TI Clough & Co, Bradford and Leeds, banned from working for further solicitors without consent of Law Society. Allegations substantiated he took instructions in matters he was not competent to deal with, convinced client he had settled action and paid client from firm's office account, hiding what he had done by paperwork purporting to be making payment to experts. Total of £40,000 involved, including £2,000 which spent on holiday.

Sheila Givens, clerk with Winstanley Burgess, London EC1V, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent from Law Society. Allegations substantiated she was sacked for involvement in incident in which cheque from firm's office cheque book went missing and was subsequently cashed bearing the forged name of one of the partners.