Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 25/07/95

WILLIAM MALCOLM ADAMSON, 49, admitted 1972 and DAVID HEWITT, 43, admitted 1975, practised in partnership as Malcolm Adamson & Co, Heywood, Lancashire, struck off and reprimanded respectively and ordered to pay costs of £3,399 (Adamson 80 per cent and Hewitt 20 per cent). Allegations substantiated they failed to keep properly written accounts and wrongly drew client account money. Adamson also found to have used client funds for own or other improper purposes, to have failed to honour terms of professional undertaking given to lending institutions and to have failed to carry out instructions received from lending institution clients. Tribunal told Adamson had paid money out in connection with a property developer which should not have left client account. It was accepted that in terms of moral responsibility the culpability lay with him, not Hewitt. However, it was possible as result of what had taken place Solicitors Indemnity Fund could face claims of up to £5 million. Tribunal said the case revealed a shocking state of affairs. Adamson had known what he was doing, known it was wrong and had concealed it from his partner.

ROGER ALASTAIR MURRAY, 40, admitted 1980, practised as Murray & Co, Lancaster, suspended and ordered to pay costs of £3,991. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew and used client funds for own purposes and failed to keep properly written accounts. Tribunal told dishonesty not alleged but improper movement of client money had resulted in 26 applications to Law Society Compensation Fund totalling £2,559 with pending applications totalling £61,099. Murray in tribunal submissions said that his business had centred on domestic conveyancing work which had been badly affected by housing market recession, was now on income support, and he had an alcohol problem. Tribunal said while he had not acted dishonestly he had not acted with the integrity required of a solicitor.

JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD LLEWELYN, 55, admitted 1966, practising as Howard Llewelyn & Co, Brecon, Powys, fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £650 costs. Allegations substantiated he unreasonably delayed submission of accountants report and failed or failed with reasonable expedition to reply to Solicitors Complaints Bureau correspondence. In submissions to tribunal Llewelyn said he had been surprised by his behaviour and asked it to view his failures as not being a deliberate act of commission on his part. Tribunal said the timely filing of accountant's reports was extremely important and represented first bulwark of Law Society in establishing a solicitor was not placing client funds in jeopardy. It was unacceptable for a solicitor to ignore letters addressed to him by his own professional body. Failure rendered it impossible for complaints bureau to carry out its proper policing function.