Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 22/11/94

IDA MARY WAKELAM, 42, admitted 1977, practised in partnership as Rudlings & Wakelam, Bury St Edmunds, fined u5,000 and ordered to pay u1,527 costs. Allegations substantiated she wilfully destroyed a mortgage deed and failed to disclose promptly its prior existence to party entitled to benefit of said mortgage. The incident arose following the death of a man who had loaned u20,000 to the woman he lived with for the purpose of them buying a joint property together. Tribunal told practical effect of Wakelam's "deceitful and dishonest" action was to deprive the dead man's widow of u20,000. Wakelam in her submissions told tribunal the incident took place in "a moment of madness". Tribunal said it was clear it was an isolated incident on the part of Wakelam, who was a competent and well-liked solicitor and who did a great deal of good within her local community. They did not consider suspension appropriate, but to mark the seriousness of the action they imposed the maximum possible fine.

IDA MARY WAKELAM, admitted 1977, practised under own name in Southend, suspended indefinitely and ordered to pay costs of u1,105. Allegations substantiated he failed to deliver accountants certificate in accordance with conditions placed on practising certificate. Tribunal told Rees failed to comply with condition that he lodge half yearly accounts within two months of end of relevant period. Rees previously before tribunal in 1991 and February 1994 and fined u1,500 and u3,000 respectively. Suspending him tribunal said it was clear Rees was not capable of practising as a solicitor and it was "inappropriate he should be permitted to dabble" in the profession.

PHILIP JOHN ADAM, admitted 1978, practised at material times as PJ Adam & Co, Wokingham, suspended for three years and ordered to pay costs of u4,605. Allegations substantiated he wrongly used client funds for own purposes and purposes of other clients and failed to comply with accounting rules. Tribunal told Law Society accountant's inspection of Adam's books revealed minimum cash shortfall of u27,986 on client funds partly resulting from improper transfers from client to office account. Adam told tribunal there had never been any question of dishonesty in what had taken place and he hoped there would be no need for payment from Compensation Fund. Tribunal said he was before them in 1989 for drawing client money contrary to rules. They were concerned that he was not equipped to be a sole practitioner. They accepted he had not been guilty of dishonesty.