PI groups arrive at compromise on fees

Graham Maurice Durnford Ford, a former senior partner of Hastings firm Durnford Ford, has been convicted at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to 10 counts of theft of clients' money. Ford accepted liability for stealing no less than £5 million. The Solicitors Compensation Fund has paid out around £7 million in connection with his exploits since 1992. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office and Sussex police. Sentencing is postponed until completion of the trial of Ford's co-accused, former partner William Digby Bew. Bew faces four counts of furnishing false information contrary to Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968. Four similar counts against Ford were not proceeded with. Bew's trial is expected to last between six to eight weeks.