Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 08/11/94

PAUL IAN ANDREWS, 41, admitted 1977, practised as Symons, Croydon, Surrey, fined u2,000 and ordered to pay u650 costs. Allegations substantiated he used client money for own purposes, failed to deliver accountants reports on time, failed to comply with solicitors investment business (SIB) rules. Andrews in his submissions to tribunal accepted he had acted "extremely foolishly". He said average amount wrongly transferred from client accounts had been small. He had since closed his practice, was being pursued by creditors and had debts exceeded u90,000. Fining him, tribunal said the breaches of accounting rules had been"trivial" and he had not deliberately flouted the statutory provisions. However, it said it had to take breaches of SIB rules seriously. Andrews had displayed a "very unsatisfactory attitude" to the importance of those rules.

RONALD JAMES THORNE, solicitor's clerk, banned from working for any solicitors in future without written consent from Law Society. Tribunal told Thorne, a former police officer, who had worked between 1985 and 1989 as a litigation clerk for John R Hansell & Co (subsequently Hansell Wilks & Co), Dartmouth, jailed for 12 months after conviction at Exeter Crown Court of carrying out acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice. Conviction related to his having "sanitised" accounts of clients. In a letter to Solicitors' Complaints Bureau, Thorne said: "So far as my working for a solicitor is concerned, let me assure you I would not demean myself to do such work ever again. I hold the entire legal profession, judges, counsel and solicitors, in the deepest disdain and contempt."

RAYMOND PETER CURTIN, of Leamington Spa, admitted 1973, practised with Franklin and Curtin, struck off and ordered to pay u3,088 costs. Allegations substantiated he misappropriated and used client money for his own purposes, breached accounting rules, practised without current practising certificate. Curtin previously suspended by Tribunal for three months in 1991. Tribunal said he appeared entirely to have abrogated his responsibilities as a solicitor and there was no doubt he had taken client money fraudulently for his own use.