A solicitor who inflated his clients bills by up to 568 per cent has been found guilty by The Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal and struck off.
Duncan Hugh Drummond of Kircaldy Road, Pollokshields massively overcharged for work he did and was caught out when a fraud probe into his partner, David Richard Blair Lyons got underway.
The pair, who ran the firm of Lyons Laing solicitors, which had offices in Greenock and Glasgow were both found guilty of professional misconduct and struck off.
A spokeswoman for the Law Society of Scotland said: “We had recognised problems at the firm and had prosecuted both partners before the independent Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal in February this year.
“Further concerns were identified during an inspection by our financial compliance team in April and May.
“The society then made an application to the Court of Session for the appointment of a judicial factor to investigate the society’s concerns.”
It was after the conclusion of that investigation legal chiefs moved to ban the pair.
Drummonds partner, David Lyons who lives in Kilmacolm was also found guilty of embezzling £1,040,000 from the Bank of Ireland as well as breaching accounts rules.
In one case Drummond, charged £15,700 for work he’d carried out which a court auditors calculated should actually have totalled £2,350 – a mark up of 568 per cent.
In another case he sent out a £4,000 bill for £1,125 worth of work. Defending his position at the tribunal hearing, Drummond claimed their firm had developed financial problems after one of its partners left leaving them with a serious debt problem.
Drummond, of Pollokshields, Glasgow, was said by the tribunal to have committed ‘reprehensible departures’ from the standard of conduct expected from someone in the legal profession.
The pair had already been fined £10,000 each by the SDDT for breaching society accounts rules but this led on to the wider investigation. In cross-examination Drummond accepted that his previous case before the tribunal had also involved serious breaches of the accounts rules.
Drummond told the hearing he was now working as a wine salesman.