Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 5/8/97

Nancy Bone, 43, admitted 1980, practising at material time as Nancy Bone & Co, fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £5,688 costs. Allegations substantiated that she failed to keep properly written accounts, failed to pay money into client account, wrongly used client money for purposes of her practice and other clients, and failed to reply to letters from the Legal Aid Board and Solicitors Complaints Bureau. Tribunal said that Bone, who admitted the allegations, had been through a difficult time and in addition to effects of recession had been ill-served by her book-keeper/ cashier whom she suspected of dishonesty.

Christopher Albert Short, 50, admitted 1972, practising at material times under his own name in Cardiff, struck off and ordered to pay £935 costs.

Allegations substantiated that he wrongly drew client money and used it for his own purposes and those of other clients, misappropriated client money and failed to keep properly written books. Short told tribunal he had suffered difficulties as a sole practitioner and his business had been disrupted by a near-fatal car crash which resulted in him conducting business from a hospital bed for a time. However, tribunal said he had made round sum transfers from the client to the office account when no bills had been delivered. He appeared to have taken extraordinary step of cashing cheques on the client account and was unable to offer an explanation as to what had happened to the cash. Although dishonesty had not specifically been alleged against him, he was accused of false accounting. It said that while dishonesty was not alleged he had been guilty of a gross breach of trust in respect of one particular client and had taken substantial sums from his client account without apparently doing any work to justify it and without delivering bills or details of charges.