On the naughty step

The family firm.

It has such a reassuring sound, redolent of values of client care handed down through the generations, and the energy of youth brought under the careful supervision of wisdom. The very best traditions of the local small firm, a foundation stone of the community.

Or not.

Karim Solicitors, consisting of Imran Karim (40), supposedly senior partner, his sister Saira (39) and their mother Shamim (65) have all been struck off the roll in one fell swoop, after leaving a trail of dishonesty proceedings and panicking liability insurers behind them.

Exhibit A, Zurich Professional Ltd v Karim & others, (see page 3 of this pdf) in … Read the full post

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On the naughty step

naughty step badgeOn the naughty step this week is Susan Orton, a conveyancing assistant at Harold G Walker in Bournemouth, at which her husband was a senior partner. Mrs Orton made away with £79,655 from the firm’s client account over 2 years, after blowing £30,000 from the family savings.

In mitigation Mrs Orton blamed the stress and long hours of her job, saying that it caused her to seek relief on the fruit machines at the local Gala Bingo. Her counsel said:

Such was the stress that she turned to gambling and was out up to five nights a week spending up to £500 a night. She spent £100,000 of their own

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In what must be probably the worst experience a paralegal could ever have, Penny Wadsworth has inadvertently caused the collapse of a 5 defendant, £100,000 drugs trial [Read the full post

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Badness in courts, of courts and of law lecturers

A quick outline of a busy news day…

What Price JusticeThe Court of Appeal says that (some) provisions of the Legal Services Commission’s Unified Contract are unlawful, specifically the most sweeping of the unilateral amendment clauses. The judgment is pretty devastating, finding for the Law Society on all points of its appeal of the earlier Judicial Review finding and against the LSC on their appeal. As a sample:

The power to amend (in this contract) is better characterised as a power to rewrite the contract.

Permission for the LSC to appeal refused, costs against the LSC. The judgment is here [pdf] and the Law Society’s comment here. What this will mean … Read the full post

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Ooops – disproportionate strike-out

A certain amount of amusement has been circulating around London housing firms at the Court of Appeal judgment in London Borough of Southwark -v- Onayomake [2007] EWCA Civ 1426 (Bailii link, or link to WLR case note here, but may only be briefly freely available).

Or perhaps Schadenfreude would be the more accurate term. Mr Onayomake had a substantive defence and counterclaim to a possession claim on the basis of succession. Southwark said, slightly bizarrely, he was a tolerated trespasser. DJ Zimmels at Lambeth County Court gave directions for a fast track trial, including filing Pre Trial Checklists. The Defendant’s solicitors failed to file on time. A … Read the full post

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Honest Guv, it's a genuine da Vinci.

I am once more indebted to Victorian Maiden for noting the arrest of a senior partner in the recapture of the Madonna of the Yardwinder, violently lifted from Drumlanrig Castle four years ago.

Calum Jones of HBJ Gateley Wareing in Glasgow, a specialist in corporate finance and corporate insolvency, was apparently arrested in the course of a meeting with an insurer, a valuer and an art expert, and the painting was found in HBJ’s offices. HBJ say there was “an interesting, but benign, explanation” for Mr Jones’ involvement. Interesting, it should be. Mr Jones insists that he was helping with the painting’s ‘repatriation’.

VM wonders how difficult it is to … Read the full post

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