Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 18/03/97

Arthur Robert Thompson, 53, admitted 1968, practising at material times as AR Thompson, Buckingham, suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay £1,544 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to comply with the decision of the Law Society Conduct Committee, failed to discharge personal liability for payment of counsel’s fees, failed to reply to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau and Law Society, failed to deliver accountant’s report on time and practised without current practising certificate.

Raymond John Christopher McGrath, 52, admitted 1971, practising at material times as McGrath & Co, Merthyr Tydfil, struck off and ordered to pay £2,487 costs. Allegations substantiated that, among other things, he failed to keep properly written accounts, wrongly drew and used client money for his own purposes and those of other clients, misappropriated client funds, failed to comply with professional undertaking, failed to pay funds received in respect of undisbursed liabilities into a client account. Tribunal told that McGrath had deliberately misused client funds and had deliberately made false entries in books of accounts. McGrath previously before tribunal in December 1993 when he was fined £2,500. Tribunal said it recognised that McGrath had been under pressure, that he had made errors of judgement in partnership matters and trusting clients and that he had co-operated fully with the Law Society. However, it could not overlook the serious breaches of the Accounts Rules and the improper use of client funds.

Asif Ahmad Malik, 38, admitted 1988, practising at material times as Malik and Co, Croydon, fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,030 costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep properly written accounts, wrongly withdrew and used client account money for his own purposes and those of other clients, acted where there was a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest between his own interest and those of his client. Tribunal said that the Investigation Accountant’s report had revealed “shoddy and incompetent bookkeeping”. Malik had not been dishonest but he had been naive and stupid, it added.

ROBERT VICTOR CLEREY, 55, admitted 1973, practising at material times as Clereys of Aldershot, reprimanded, ordered to pay fine of u500 and ordered to pay u5,003 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly paid funds into client account, wrongly withdrew client account money and used it for his own purposes and those of other clients, failed to comply with professional undertaking, failed to ensure that client ledgers and cash books were reconciled at least ever five weeks.