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 appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £20,000 costs.
It is understood that at the tribunal hearing Mr Tickell, of Meols, admitted all the allegations made against him.
A spokesperson for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which brought the case, said that “there was no greater punishment than to be removed from the role.”
They added: “Any firms that close must do so in a managed way as outlined on our website. Rex Taylor and Meadows are following this procedure, as evidenced by the use of another solicitors firm, to protect the interests of clients.”
They assured clients of Mr Tickell at Rex Taylor and Meadows that they “should be dealt with shortly”.
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 any clients at the West Kirby firm of suffering any financial shortfall as a result of the closure.
The 13 allegations against Mr Tickell 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Withdrawing funds from a general client account when funds withdrawn exceeded amounts held on behalf of client;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 deal with client money appropriately;
Failing to deal appropriately with the registration of a mortgage;
Failing to establish and maintain proper accounting systems;
Failing to co-operate with the SRA in checking compliance;
Acting for both sides in a conveyancing transaction without appropriate written authority.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is expected to publish its full judgement – including the evidence against Mr Tickell – after Christmas.
When Mr Tickell was approached at his home in Meols he declined to comment.
Rex Taylor and Meadows was originally run by Mr Tickell and Wirral coroner Christopher Johnson.
Mr Johnson was not referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
Mr Johnson left the firm in June 2011, which is why the firm has closed since Mr Tickell was struck off in November.
One family who were clients of the firm, who preferred to remain anonymous, said 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.”
Crangle Edwards added that to date they have not received any complaints from any clients and anyone with any concerns is welcome to contact the firm on 0161-428 2331.