Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 22/08/95

RICHARD LAWRENCE BRADY, 45, admitted 1976, practised as Richard L Brady & Co, West Drayton, Middlesex, struck off. Allegations substantiated he had been convicted of criminal offence and served jail sentence. Tribunal was told Brady had been jailed for four months after pleading guilty at Southwark Crown Court on 12 December, to procuring execution of a valuable security by deception. Brady told the tribunal the alleged offence took place when he was acting for a client in administration of estate of client's deceased brother. He invested £7,000 of estate money without specific authority of client on the understanding he had general authority to invest estate money. He said he would not have pleaded guilty had he been aware of the sentence he would receive but despite its harshness he had "taken his punishment like a man". Tribunal said it was "moved" by Brady's address but in ordering him to be struck off was mindful of the serious damage to reputation of profession if a solicitor convicted of criminal offence and who had served custodial sentence was permitted to remain on the roll.

TISSA NAMEL DE SILVA WEERAMUNI, 60, admitted 1987, practised as Namel de Silva & Co, Willesden, London NW10, suspended for three years and ordered to pay £1,552 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to comply with accounting rules, wrongly withdrew and utilised client money and failed to exercise proper supervision over dishonest conveyancing clerk. Weeramuni, previously an advocate in Sri Lanka, came to the UK in 1974 because of political unrest in Sri Lanka. He entered into partnership in London and in 1984 the clerk, who was responsible for a sham transaction and wholly improper use of proceeds of mortgage advance was taken on. Weeramuni told tribunal he has returned to Sri Lanka and does not anticipate returning to UK. Tribunal said he had previously been fined in February 1991 for failing to comply with accounting rules and mishandling client money. It accepted he had been "extraordinarily trusting" of his clerk, but said solicitors had a duty to ensure that all transactions handled by their firm were carried out with propriety. While they had sympathy for him they considered that he should be suspended.

KENNETH WILLIAM WESTGARTH, 51, admitted 1970, practising in partnership as Cooksey Spencer Westgarth, Coventry, fined £3,000 and

ordered to pay £1,690 costs.

Allegations substantiated he failed to account promptly for funds handled by him while acting in administration of an estate, was guilty of unreasonable delay in conduct of professional business, failed to reply to letters from clients, from other solicitors and from Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal accepted he was a "good, conscientious" solicitor and in the circumstances felt it was able to take a "compassionate, lenient view".