Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 16/6/98

David William Gambrill, 46, admitted 1976, practising at material times on own account as Lewis Bell Darley & Gambrill, Rochester, struck off. Allegations substantiated that he drew monies from client account other than in accordance with the rules, used clients' funds for his own purposes and those of his wife or of a business controlled by him, failed to account to clients for monies held on their behalf in both the manner in which those monies were handled by him and by issue of inadequate account documents, and gave false and misleading information to a client. Gambrill ceased practising in April 1997 on intervention by the Law Society. Tribunal said there had been no loss to clients. But Gambrill had acted recklessly, dishonestly and with disregard for the solicitors' account rules.

Philip John Brown, 40, admitted 1985, fined £2,000, and John Fitzpatrick, 50, admitted 1974, fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,861 between them. Brown and Fitzpatrick, practising in partnership at material times as Clough Fitzpatrick, Bradford. Law Society intervened and practice disposed of. Allegations substantiated that they failed to keep properly written-up accounts, wrongly drew money from client account and failed to pay clients' funds into client account. Allegations substantiated against Fitzpatrick that he used clients' funds for his benefit, misappropriated clients' funds and obtained loans from a client without ensuring that client was separately represented. Tribunal accepted there was no allegation of dishonesty against them and no question of acting dishonestly or with intention to flout professional rules. Firm's accounts were in disarray. Tribunal observed that even if no dishonesty was intended, putting client money in jeopardy was unacceptable.

James Edgar Rawlinson, 49, admitted 1973, practising at material time as James Rawlinson & Co, Blackpool, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £3,195. Allegation substantiated that he had been guilty of offences of dishonesty in practising as solicitor. Other allegations of failure to keep properly written up books of accounts and misappropriation of clients' funds ordered to lie on the file. Rawlinson pleaded guilty at Preston Magistrates' Court to seven counts of theft. He was jailed at Preston Crown Court in January 1998 for three and a half years. Offences involved theft of a total of £277,970.