Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 24/01/95

NISHITH DADUBHAI PATEL, admitted 1984, practised initially in partnership as Chawla Sanghvi Patel, and latterly as sole practitioner in Wembley, fined u7,000 and ordered to pay u3,215 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed to account adequately to a client, failed to reply to Solicitors Complaints Bureau correspondence promptly, was guilty of inordinate and inexcusable delay in conduct of professional business, failed to reply promptly to correspondence from and on behalf of clients and former clients. Tribunal told complaints arose from lengthy catalogue of delays and failures. Respondent had failed to reply to 17 letters addressed to him by Solicitors Complaints Bureau relating to five different cases. He had failed to reply to 42 letters from clients relating to six cases. Patel admitted allegations and told tribunal he was "extremely ashamed". He made no excuse for his failure. Imposing the fine, tribunal said it had seriously considered suspension but had taken into account the stress Patel had been under.

DAVID ROBIN EVANS, 40, solicitor's conveyancing clerk, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent from Law Society and ordered to pay u1,500 costs. Tribunal told Evans, of Sheffield, was sentenced to three years prison after pleading guilty at Sheffield Crown Court on 2 January, 1991 to 19 counts of obtaining property by deception, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, evading liability by deception, forgery and conspiring to obtain property by deception. Tribunal told that Evans had found himself in environment where he was mixing with people involved in property deals who led him to believe it was possible to make large profits without necessarily having any significant capital funds with which to start dealing. He was said to have been "naive rather than dishonest".

DAWSON JOHN HANSON, 59, admitted 1974, practised on own account as Eddowes Simm & Waldron, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, fined u500 and ordered to pay u768 costs. Allegations substantiated he failed or failed with reasonable expedition, to reply to correspondence from Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal told bureau wrote to Hanson in May 1993 seeking his comments and an explanation in relation to a complaint that he had acted without proper authority regarding his appointment by Court of Protection as a receiver and as to possible matters of conflict of interest. However, he was said to have made no response to letters written to him on the matter. Hanson told tribunal he qualified as a solicitor at a later age than usual having pursued previous different careers and was immensely proud to be a member of the profession. His failure to reply to complaints bureau correspondence did not represent his normal way of doing things. Tribunal had sympathy for the position he had been placed in by the client concerned and said if he had told the bureau what had happened the matter would not have been referred to the tribunal. It felt able to take a lenient stand in his case.