HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2079-80W
Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that another solicitor was struck off the rolls on 19th February for having improperly used for his own purposes money held by him on behalf of clients; and will he now introduce legislation to prevent solicitors handling client's money at all, as the Law Society has thus far failed to protect the public otherwise than by punishing a delinquent?

The Attorney-General

The suggestion made by my hon. and gallant Friend does not appear to be practicable. The Law Society, as I have already indicated to the House, have had under consideration the draft of a Bill designed to protect clients against defalcations by solicitors.

Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Attorney-General whether, in view of the failure of the present practice to safeguard the monies of clients from defalcations by solicitors, he proposes to take steps to compel an annual audit of the accounts of all solicitors by competent persons?

The Attorney-General

In considering the draft of the Bill to which I have referred in my reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Lewes (Rear-Admiral Beamish), the Law Society have given most careful consideration to this proposal, and I am informed that they are proposing to include provisions for a compulsory examination of accounts.