Limerick solicitor who operated a secret account is struck off

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

A LIMERICK solicitor who lodged client’s money into a secret account has been struck off.

A LIMERICK solicitor who lodged client’s money into a secret account has been struck off.

The Law Society initiated legal proceedings against Michael Small, who used to operate from an office at Newenham Street in the city centre following an investigation into his affairs.

Previously the High Court was told Mr Small, in conjunction with a mortgage broker, gave properties false values to draw down money which was then diverted into a secret client account.

The court heard there was a €1.2million deficit in the secret account and that in addition to the secret account, there was also a €1.8million deficit in client funds.

Previously, the court was told Mr Small informed the Law Society about the secret account in August of last year after a client had threatened to make a complaint in relation to his handling of a mortgage.

Subsequently, the society’s Regulation of Practice Committee formed the opinion that the solicitor was guilty of dishonesty and fraud.

Solicitor Cahir O’Higgins, for Mr Small, opposed the application to strike off his client.

He said Mr Small had allowed his personal affairs to interfere with his business affairs and he said he conceded he had not run his business affairs in a sensible way.

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neil granted the Law Society’s application to strike off Mr Small who was first enrolled as a solicitor in 2003.