Solicitor(s): John Fleming Hamilton, 7 Forfar Road, Kirriemuir
Tribunal Date: 27/03/2019
Appeal Status:No Appeal
Edinburgh 27 March 2019. The Tribunal having considered the Complaint at the instance of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland against John Fleming Hamilton, 7 Forfar Road, Kirriemuir; Find the Respondent guilty of professional misconduct individually in respect that (1) he failed to advise Ms A and Ms B that the fee for the executry would be materially higher than the percentage fee and failed to advise them when the limit of the percentage fee was approached and separately when it was exceeded; (2) he failed to advise Ms A and Ms B that he was suspended and his client account frozen; (3) he took client funds to fees in breach of Rule B6.5.1(d); (4) he failed to remit sums to the QLTR as required by Rule B6.11.5; (5) he misled Mrs K by suggesting she was an executor in order to obtain payment of fees; (6) he failed to comply with Rule B6.23 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007; (7) he failed to act in his clients’ best interests; (8) he failed to carry out instructions competently and within a reasonable period of time; and (9) he failed to communicate effectively with his clients and others; and guilty of professional misconduct in cumulo in respect that (10) he failed to render a fee note to Mrs D prior to debiting the joint account in settlement of a matrimonial fee; (11) he failed to seek the written authority of Mr C and Mrs D prior to debiting the joint account in settlement of a matrimonial fee; (12) he failed to maintain in the joint account the total sum due to be shared between Mr C and Mrs D; (13) he failed to communicate effectively with the Complainers in breach of Practice Rule B1.9; (14) he failed to ensure that client confidentiality was maintained in breach of Practice Rule B1.6; and (15) he failed to act in the best interests of his clients in breach of Practice Rule B1.4; Order that the name of the Respondent be Struck Off the Roll of Solicitors in Scotland; Direct in terms of Section 53(6) of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 that this order shall take effect on the date on which the written findings are intimated to the Respondent; Find the Respondent liable in the expenses of the Complainers and of the Tribunal including expenses of the Clerk, chargeable on a time and line basis as the same may be taxed by the Auditor of the Court of Session on an agent and client, client paying basis in terms of Chapter Three of the last published Law Society’s Table of Fees for general business with a unit rate of £14.00; Direct that publicity will be given to this decision and that this publicity should include the name of the Respondent but need not identify any other person and Allow the Secondary Complainers 28 days from the date of intimation of these findings to lodge a written claim for compensation with the Tribunal Office.
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