A WIRRAL law firm has closed down after one of its solicitors was struck off for improper behaviour.
Alan Tickell, of Rex Taylor and Meadows, in West Kirby, was struck off on November 19 after he was prosecuted at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £20,000 costs.
The tribunal will not publish the full judgement until after Christmas and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), which brought the case, would not confirm on which charges he was convicted.
But the allegations brought against Mr Tickell, of Meols, included:
Raising invoices in respect of costs and transferred money from clients’ accounts to the office account when there was no reason to do so;
Withdrawing funds from a general client account when funds withdrawn exceeded amounts held on behalf of client;
Failing to disburse residues of wills for a significant number of years;
Retaining client money when there was no reason to retain;
Failing to co-operate with the SRA in checking compliance.
Around 50 solicitors are struck off each year and a spokesman for the SRA said “there was no greater punishment than to be removed from the role”.
Concerned ex-clients gathered outside the firm’s office in West Kirby on Friday to try and find out what was going on, but the office is now closed.
One family, who preferred to remain anonymous, contacted the Wirral News to say they were deeply distressed by the closure.
A family member said: “I was in West Kirby and saw this group of people outside the office.
“It was only when I asked them what was going on and I heard the news.
“It is very worrying for me and my family – my father died seven months ago and his will was done with the firm. I just hope that everything can be sorted out.
“When I went on the internet and saw the allegations made on the SRA website, it was really shocking.”
But Crangle Edwards Solicitors, in Cheadle, who are assisting in the closure and are acting on behalf of Mr Tickell, said they were not aware of clients at the West Kirby firm suffering any financial shortfall as a result of the closure.
They added that to date they had not received any complaints from any clients of Rex Taylor and Meadows. Anyone with any concerns can contact the firm on 0161-428 2331.