IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISIONAL COURT
(LORD JUSTICE AULD)
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE LAWS
LADY JUSTICE ARDEN
|IN THE MATTER OF THE SOLICITORS' ACT 1974|
|RE A SOLICITOR|
|DAVID JOHN BULTITUDE (Appellant)|
|THE LAW SOCIETY (Respondent)|
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MR BENJAMIN BROWNE QC appeared on behalf of the appellant
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"My simple assumption was that all the hard work which had been contributed in my absence that weekend had achieved a standard analysis and treatment of the credit balances. There was no reason for me to think anything other than that, where appropriate, a range of invoices had been raised in respect of fees due to the firm and sent out in the relevant clients....,. I had no conception of the nature of the exercise which had been carried out. There was no reason for me to think that any unorthodox steps had been taken and I knew only that a great deal of effort had been expended."
"Mr Bultitude was guilty of conscious impropriety amounting to dishonesty in endorsing the system of transfers of client money from office to client account devised by Mr Rosen and had failed to exercise the proper stewardship of clients' money which was a fundamental duty of a solicitor."
"He had signed a cheque transferring his clients' funds to his office account without knowing or caring whether or not his firm was entitled to be paid those funds. Such conduct was dishonest, even if there was an intention to repay the clients if it was found on a subsequent investigation that the firm was not in fact entitled to the sums transferred under the cover of the debit notes."
"The striking off of any solicitor found to have acted dishonestly in relation to clients' monies must now be seen as all but automatic."