Litigation Disciplinary Tribunals 02/05/95

JOHN WYN PRYS WILLIAMS, admitted 1969, practised on own account as G Roger Prys & Co, Rhyl, suspended for three years and ordered to pay £2,455 costs. Allegations substantiated he improperly used client money for his own purposes, wrongly withdrew client account money, failed to keep account books properly or file accountant's report on time. Tribunal told minimum cash shortage of £35,232 had been revealed on client account which Williams could not replace. Law Society Compensation Fund had paid out £3,043 by time of hearing with further £1,000 claim pending. Williams told tribunal he had suffered from nerves and insomnia following the death of his father in 1990 and had been prescribed drugs which had far greater effect on him than he had realised. Tribunal said it could not find evidence of dishonesty by Williams but there was "serious improper use of his client account" and questions remained unanswered over missing funds.

JOHN EDGAR POLLARD, admitted 1970, practised as J Pollard & Co, Uxbridge, Middlesex, struck off and ordered to pay £1,969 costs. Allegations substantiated that he continued to act when a conflict of interest situation had arisen between himself and a client, that he obtained a loan from a client without ensuring that the client was separately advised, failed to deliver accountants' reports or delivered them late, practised without current practising certificate and failed to account for client funds. Among other allegations Pollard was said to have received payments from a client who was an in-patient at a mental hospital. The client had not received separate advice. Tribunal said Pollard, fined £500 in 1991 for failure to deliver accountants' reports on time, practising without current practising certificate and failing to comply with indemnity rules, had continued to adopt "a very cavalier approach" to regulatory matters. Tribunal said it also took a serious view of solicitors who appeared to take advantage of clients and lost sight of duty owed to them.

CAROLE ANN GRAHAM, solicitor's clerk at material time with Ames Kent Rathwell & Walters, Frome, Somerset, banned from working for any further solicitors without written consent of Law Society and ordered to pay £1,100 costs. Tribunal told she was dismissed by the firm after discovery of accounting irregularities and in May 1992 sentenced to 12 months prison, six months suspended, after convictions on seven counts of theft and false accounting. Offences said to have involved theft from employers of about £10,000. Tribunal said unadmitted person employed by solicitor to deal with handling of money and accounts was in position of high trust and if that was seriously abused, employment should be restricted.