Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 04/10/94

TIMOTHY DAVID WILSON, 37, admitted 1984, practised as Wilson and Co, Harrow, struck off and ordered to pay u2,507 costs. Allegations substantiated he wrongly drew money from client account and used it for own purposes, failed to comply with professional undertaking, and failed to comply with accounting rules. Tribunal told Wilson admitted u76,103 cash shortage – since rectified – between May and July 1993, u75,591 of which was due to overpayment of personal nature said to have arisen in error. Wilson also said to have failed to honour undertaking to repay u60,000 advanced by bank in respect of property transaction. Tribunal told Wilson had given no explanation for client account shortfall. It said misuse of client funds for own purposes and breach of undertakings were two gravest matters of misconduct committed by solicitors. They undermined the good reputation of the profession.

GARRY ROLAND HERSH, of Hatfield, struck off and ordered to pay u2,000 costs. Allegations substantiated Hersh fined u5,000 and ordered to serve 50 hours community service after pleading guilty in April 1993 at Southwark Crown Court to an offence of false accounting. Tribunal "horrified" to be told Hersh's activities have resulted in payouts of u375,499 by Law Society Compensation Fund and pending claims at time of hearing of further u74,000. Criminal conviction arose out of Hersh's conduct in relation to estate administration when he transferred funds from client to office account to discharge bills in contravention "gross dishonesty in the course of his practice".

KEVIN JOHN BEARD, 35, admitted 1983, practised as assistant solicitor with Messrs Bray and Bray, Leicester, suspended for three years and ordered to pay u915 costs. Allegations substantiated he gave false and misleading information to client, created false document and used it to deceive client in civil litigation matter. Tribunal told that under pressure of other work and pressed by insistent client, he told client statement of claim in pending High Court action had been served when it had not. Also to buy more time he later misled client service of defence in proceedings. Tribunal in ordering suspension rather than striking off said it took into account fact Bray and Bray had not summarily dismissed Beard when matter came to light and that inspection of his other client files revealed nothing amiss. They were prepared to accept that his actions had been an "isolated case". However, he had been guilty of deceit perpetuated over a period of time and this had amounted to serious professional misconduct.