Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 15/11/94

JONATHAN FRANCIS McDEVITT, 38, admitted 1982, practised at material times in partnership with White McDevitt, London WC1, fined u2,000 and ordered to pay u2,475 costs. Allegations substantiated he was guilty of unreasonable delay in conduct of professional business, failed to reply to correspondence from client, failed to perform professional undertakings within reasonable time, giving false and misleading information to a client. Complaints related to McDevitt's handling of money advances to be secured by charges over land. McDevitt admitted unprofessional conduct, but said there had been no allegation of dishonesty and asked the tribunal to take view he was an honest solicitor. He had derived no personal benefit from what happened.

KEITH LANGDALE BOWMAN, 58, admitted 1959, practised in partnership with Sandford Mervyn Taylor and Co, London, SW15, struck off and ordered to pay u2,472 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated client funds and used them for own purposes, drew client account money contrary to rules and failed to keep books properly. Tribunal told that following Law Society intervention, Bowman admitted dishonest misappropriation of around u115,000 of clients' money over a 12 month period. At time of hearing compensation fund had dealt with claims totalling u4,348. Tribunal acknowledged that at relevant time, Bowman, whose partner was 86, blind and suffering from leukaemia and not active in practice, was labouring under great difficulty. However, they said that from the length of time he had been in practice he must have been fully aware he was not entitled to have recourse to client funds and use that money for his own purposes.

DAVID HENRY WINSTON, 48, admitted 1978, practising at material time as Winston and Co, Notting Hill Gate, London W11, fined u2,500 and ordered to pay u679 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to forward title deeds when requested to do so, failed to reply to letter from Solicitors' Complaints Bureau, was guilty of long delay in conduct of professional business and that he also failed to comply with direction from assistant director of Solicitors' Complaints Bureau. Complaints stemmed from property transaction Winston was handling. Tribunal concerned at Winston's failure to reply to letters from bureau and failure to comply with its direction. They considered that Winston's failures marked an "unsatisfactory attitude".