Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 2/6/98

Peter George Wright, solicitor's clerk of Bell Close, Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire, employed at material time by Good Fennemore, Central Milton Keynes, banned from further employment by any solicitor without the written consent of the Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £845. Allegation substantiated that he had been convicted on 16 January 1997 at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court of theft and was put on probation for one year and ordered to pay compensation of £550 to his employer. He was employed as an accounts clerk for a temporary period from 12 May 1995 to 19 May 1995. His conduct was reported to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors, alleging that he had stolen cash to the figure of £550 and made improper entries in the books of account in order to hide the theft. The police were informed, he was arrested and during the subsequent interview admitted the theft.

Stephen John Page, 45, admitted 1980, practising at material time as Stephen Page & Co, Warwick, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £2,541. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain properly written books of account and withdrew monies from client account otherwise than in accordance with rules. Geoffrey James Flowers, solicitor's clerk, who at material time was employed as clerk by Page, banned from further employment by any solicitor without written consent from the Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £940. Allegations substantiated that he misapplied monies belonging to clients of Stephen Page & Co, and caused firm to commit serious breaches of the solicitors' accounts rules. Tribunal said there was no doubt that Flowers had acted dishonestly. As far as Page was concerned, it accepted that he was not complicit in the nefarious activities of Flowers, but his failure to grasp the nettle and his recklessness with client monies led directly to the very large losses which would have to be met by the profession. Despite his lack of dishonesty, tribunal took the view that his breaches of the rules and his failure to safeguard clients' money were so serious that it was right to impose the ultimate sanction.