Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 30/6/98

John Simm Mather, 57, admitted 1970, practising at material times as John S Mather, Wigan, struck off and ordered to pay costs of £3,180. Practice ceased on 10 May 1997 on intervention by Law Society. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain properly written accounts, wrongly drew monies from client account and unreasonably delayed registration title. Tribunal expressed sympathy for position in which he found himself. Despite personal difficulties, he had been expelled from long-standing partnership and opened a sole practice which had been, on his own admission, against his better judgement. But tribunal observed that this was serious breach of Solicitors' Accounts Rules and he had not recognised that client funds could not be used for his own purposes. Although he had not intentionally behaved in dishonest fashion, he should have recognised that he was using client funds to alleviate the problems of his own practice. Tribunal was satisfied that he had not exhibited trustworthiness required of the profession.

Steven Davy, 29, solicitor's clerk, working at material time in litigation department of Simpson Curtis, subsequently Pinsent Curtis, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society. He was attached to firm's London office litigation team as outdoor clerk. Allegation substantiated that he dishonestly took £1,500 from the firm. Tribunal said he took the money to bolster his own finances and had abused trust. He had since joined another firm of solicitors with specialised practice who would be willing to continue to employ him and support him. Tribunal expressed hope that Law Society might feel able to look favourably on application by firm to continue to employ him.

Roger Sewell Taylor, 53, admitted 1970, practising at material time in partnership as Hedleys, of Leatherhead and Bishopsgate, fined £3,000 and ordered to pay unquantified costs. Allegations substantiated that he failed to keep properly written up accounts, drew money from client account other than permitted, utilised client funds for purposes of other clients and failed to discharge duties as executor/ trustee with due diligence or in best interest of client.