Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 9/6/98

Graham Leslie Albert Wheelband, conveyancing clerk for Blakemores, Birmingham, banned from working for any solicitor without the written consent of the Law Society and ordered to pay costs of £900. Allegations substantiated that he acted when a conflict of interest occurred. In particular, he acted for himself as purchaser while at same time acting for vendor and mortgagee and failed to notify his building society mortgagees with relevant facts. Tribunal expressed understanding of his sense of injustice that none of the solicitors having supervision of his work had been made subject of disciplinary proceedings by the Law Society. It noted his statement that he had entered into transactions not only because he himself saw them as a good business opportunity but also to assist cash flow difficulties of a substantial client of the firm. Wheelband claimed he had sought guidance, but tribunal took the view that he was an expert in conveyancing and an experienced legal executive. However, it expressed hope the Law Society would consent to him being employed by suitable firm of solicitors in future.

David Shorrocks, 41, admitted 1983, practising in Rippon at material times on his own account as David Shorrocks, fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,589. Allegations substantiated that he failed to maintain properly written accounts, practised as a solicitor whilst in breach of conditions imposed upon his practising certificate and failed to reply to correspondence from the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and from the Monitoring Unit of the Law Society. Tribunal said that he had entered sole practice wrongly believing that he could undertake every aspect of administration, including book-keeping. His computerised account system was inadequate. Tribunal accepted that there was no question of dishonesty and gave credit for the fact that he took immediate steps to put matters right. He did not comply with the condition on his practising certificate that he practise only in approved partnership or approved employment. Tribunal accepted that he had put the interests of clients first and did not intentionally flout rules, but nevertheless had become somewhat disorganised.