Senior partners found guilty

TWO SENIOR partners at the collapsed Liverpool firm Deacon Goldrein Green have been found guilty of using client funds for their own purposes and withholding information from the Legal Aid Board.

A solicitors' disciplinary tribunal last week found Andrew MacFarlane and Alan Sprince guilty of conduct unbefitting to a solicitor after hearing how the firm held large sums of money won in costs awards which it should have paid back to the LAB.

Andrew Hopper, representing the Law Society, said an investigating accountant who visited the firm in July 1994 found that “the total amount of money which was due to be recouped by the LAB, and was not, exceeded £700,000”.

They were also found guilty of failing to pay money into client accounts and drawing money from client accounts other than was permitted.

Six other partners were also found guilty of this charge: Richard Grimes, Martin Bracey, Andrew Gillespie, Jeffrey Cunliffe, Christopher Broad and Michael Coghlan.

A further hearing is scheduled for 20 February, when mitigation will be heard.