AN Orford solicitor, who repeatedly lied to clients and took thousands of pounds of their money and ploughed it into another company he owned without consent, has been banned from practice.
Ian Hall, who operated from Hall & Co on Orford Lane, has been stuck off the Roll of Solicitors at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after he willingly admitted that he had ‘deluded himself that he was an efficient businessman’.
The former solicitor, who was first admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in May 1994, was found to have continually ignored clients’ fruitless pursuit for information, failed to comply with court direction and attend legal hearings.
He also provided misleading information to the Legal Ombudsman, who was looking into Mr Hall’s conduct following a string of complaints.
Mr Hall also transferred more that £50,000 of a client’s money to a company called Building Dispute in August 2012 as a share purchase.
He claimed he was not the owner of the company despite an incorporation document and the latest annual return stating that he owned 90 per cent shares.
The client had no idea why the money had been transferred.
Mr Hall, who claims he has debts of £400,000 and anticipates to be made bankrupt later this year, did not contend any of the allegation against him.
He claimed that he had been the victim of a serious assault five years ago, which has left him suffering with cluster headaches that had gotten worse over time.
This has resulted on him having to take time off work, however, very little medical evidence was given to the tribunal with regards to the condition.
The tribunal heard that Mr Hall had embarked on a number of ventures and took on 1,000 cases without planning, forethought and funding.
Mr Hall said he was ‘desperately sorry for what happened’ and is now seeking employment in a different profession.
Following a two day hearing, the panel concluded that the poor service and lack of co-operation was of ‘chronic proportion’ and the breaches of account rules were ‘blatant and deliberate’.
Mr Hall was not present to hear the verdict after he claimed he was unable to pay for a hotel in London, where the tribunal was taking place, and was forced to return home after the first day.