Crooked Lawyer jailed for stealing client funds

Clients should NEVER FALL INTO THE TRAP of thinking that lawyers put clients interests before that of the lawyer who simply wants to maximize his fees

Thursday, 3 December 2009

High Court rules Beresfords solicitors should be struck off

High Court rules Beresfords solicitors should be struck off

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Crooked lawyer stole £90,000

Crooked lawyer stole £90,000 from Midland pensioners to fund boob job and chihuahua

Veronica Hyland

IT‘S a dog more commonly associated with Hollywood stars like Paris Hilton.

But solicitor Veronica Hyland splashed out £6,000 on a pedigree Chihuahua – after stealing almost £100,000 from elderly clients.

The corrupt lawyer, 50, is now facing jail after pocketing the money which also paid for a boob reduction job, a £37,000 Audi, private schooling for her kids and a hoard of designer jewellery.

Heartless Hyland stole more than £90,000 from pensioner Doris Carrier just days after the death of her millionaire husband Les – former chairman of Wednesbury steel firm FH Lloyds.

The lawyer had doctored a legal document which allowed her to plunder the widow’s bank accounts.

Last night, a Staffordshire Police source said: “Hyland is despicable and vile. She preyed on elderly and vulnerable clients who trusted her implicitly.

‘‘She then frittered their money on egotistical luxury items, such as a breast reduction operation and a designer dog which cost £6,000.

“Her former clients are shocked and devastated.”

Hyland, of Priory Road in Stone, Staffordshire, admitted 16 counts of theft and fraud by false representation on October 12 at Stafford Crown Court.

She will be sentenced on Friday and can expect a lengthy prison sentence for the breach of trust.

Hyland was working as a wills and probate specialist at Wolverhampton solicitors Dunham Brindley and Linn when she began preying on her elderly clients in 2007.

She had access to dozens of pensioners who paid her varying sums to draw up wills and help them manage their financial affairs.

But on five separate occasions she paid clients’ cheques totalling £600 into her own bank account instead of her firm’s.

The police source said: “She would tell the client, ‘Oh, leave the cheque blank. I’ve got a stamp (bearing the firm’s name) back at the office’.

‘‘She then wrote her own name on the cheques and paid them into her account.”

Thieving Hyland also stole £470 of clients’ cash from her employer’s office in November 2007.

Bank warns 5,000 City lawyers face the axe in new year | News

Bank warns 5,000 City lawyers face the axe in new year | News

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Scams by lawyers on clients

1. Instruction not for a fixed amount when you think it is ie they mislead you.
2. Agreeing to give estimate for further work and they don't instead they inform the client after the work has been done.

3. Overbilling - for time ( interviews with junior members of law firms have disclosed instructions from senior partners to give as full a response as they can in order to maximise the billing, and to even bill if they are on their lunch break if they so much as think about the client.

4. Conflicts - lawyers take the chinese wall to rice paper thickness and often have conflicts that they do not make clear to the client. ALWAYS GET THEM TO STATE IN WRITING THAT THEY HAVE NO CONFLICTS AT THE START.

5. If you have more than one instruction with the lawyer , the lawyer may take funds from one account to pay a bill from another account with out instruction. Make sure where possible you use a different law firm for each instruction.

6. Lack of description of the work undertaken in relation to the hours charged or lack of hours that relate to description. ( various interviews with junior members have shown that partners often guess and do not keep good time keeping records against detailed descriptions of the work undertaken this is often done long after the event and attendance notices are embellished to support the bill. Always ask for a copy of the attendance note to all meetings and phone calls as these notes are undertaken in any event at the time, THIS PREVENTS ANY FURTHER EMBELISHMENT.

Investigations of solicitors

A-Z of solicitors about whom we've published decisions