Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 14/04/98

Mark Colin East, 32, admitted 1991, employed at material times by Beetenson & Gibbon, Grimsby, struck off and ordered to pay £3,994 costs. Allegations substantiated that he wrongly drew money from client account and misappropriated client's and employer's money. Tribunal expressed sympathy and surprise that he had not sought advice, but said that while he had not attempted to hide his actions, he arranged for monies not belonging to him to be paid to him or others.

Kamla Belshaw, 34, admitted 1992, assistant solicitor from September 1992 to April 1994 with Ford & Warren, Leeds, struck off and ordered to pay costs. Allegations substantiated that she had received payments from her employer for claims for travelling expenses which she knew to be false, issued false CV documents and practised as a solicitor when she did not hold a valid practising certificate. Tribunal considered a medical report and took into account what appeared to be personality problems. It accepted that some dishonesty had occurred as result of genuine errors but could not overlook fact that when given the opportunity to correct mistakes she let them stand. Her employer had been put to expense and inconvenience and had claimed from the Legal Aid Board in good faith relying on her claims.

Hugh Alexander Norman, admitted 1984, practising at material time in partnership as Hugh Norman & Company, Bristol, fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £4,819 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain books of account, wrongly drew money from client's account, failed to pay in client money and failed to reply to Solicitors Complaints Bureau correspondence. Tribunal accepted his inability to conduct his practice properly. He was a good criminal advocate and he should be permitted to continue to assist clients in that capacity, provided he was given no responsibility for the management and accounts of a firm. In view of substantial costs order, tribunal considered leniency in size of penalty was appropriate.