Birmingham Partner faces fraud charges

West Midlands fraud squad has charged the senior partner of Birmingham firm James Beauchamp with stealing more than £73,000 from clients.

The firm closed in June last year having hit the headlines a month earlier when it sent a £12,000 bill to the mother of one of its solicitors who had killed himself, charging for handling matters relating to his death. The Edgbaston firm's client list, with about 600 active cases was taken over by nearby firm Challinors Lyon Clarke.

Senior partner Andrew Westall faces six charges of theft between 1993 and last year and will appear before Birmingham magistrates on 6 April. A West Midlands police spokesman said: “The charges were made after an eight-month inquiry into allegations of client account irregularities.”