Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 01/1194

EDWARD GORDON EMMANUEL BOWMAN, who practised as Edward Bowman and Co and who was struck off in 1987, refused restoration to Roll. Bowman, admitted 1981, struck off after allegations substantiated he misused client money and breached accounting rules. Bowman said that since being struck off he had found it difficult to gain employment. He was unemployed for a year from October 1987 when the order was made. He had since done some lecturing in law. Refusing restoration, Tribunal said that there had been a clear finding that Bowman had, at best, been reckless, and his behaviour had been “wholly unacceptable”. It said there was still substantial debt owed to the Law Society Compensation Fund. It could not overlook the large shortages found on Bowman’s client account and the fact the a large amount of compensation fund money had not been replaced.

GRAHAM GUY SHAW, 35, of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, admitted 1983, struck off. Allegations substantiated he failed to keep proper books of accounts and wrongly misappropriated client money for own purposes. Tribunal told that as result of his activities Law Society Compensation Fund exposed to claims totalling u741,963. Tribunal said Shaw had adopted a dishonest course of conduct in misappropriating client funds for his own purposes and attempting to disguise what he had done with false entries in books of account.

NEIL STUART DUNBAR, 40, of Farnham, Surrey, admitted 1981, struck off and ordered to pay u895 costs. Allegation substantiated that Dunbar received 12-month jail sentence at Leeds Crown Court in February 1993 for “mortgage fraud” involving some u1.5 million and in which lending institutions lost around u400,000. In striking Dunbar off, tribunal adopted words of sentencing judge who told him he had allowed his professional skills to weave “a web of fraud”. Tribunal said that this kind of conduct eroded confidence which financial institutions had in legal practitioners. The good name of the profession and the public had to be protected from solicitors behaving as Dunbar had.

PETER SCHILLI-SOMJEN, 39, admitted 1980, practised as Peter Somjen and Co, Wembley, fined u3,500 and ordered to pay u1,638 costs. Allegations substantiated he practised without current practising certificate, failed to pay indemnity fund contributions promptly and failed to reply to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal told respondent’s problems arose when he first set up in practice on his own. Tribunal said allegations were not at most serious end of scale. Nevertheless, respondent had practised without practising certificate over a long period of time. If solicitors were to maintain any credibility with members of the public they must be punctilious in adhering to the regulations by which they were bound.