The SDT has not accounted for Daultrey's involvement in the Matter of Donnellan & Co in which Daultrey holds out as a solicitor "of twenty years' standing".
And my own case in which he held out as being a legitimate solicitor while favouring his other client, a convicted fraudster.
He also held out as
being a solicitor of 20 years' standing at the offices of
Here are the original findings in the matter of Daultrey's striking off.
See also: Solicitors' Lie Detector
and the annual reports of the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal itself.
American Bar Association
might find our rules farcical.
IN THE MATTER OF STEVEN RICHARD DAULTREY, former solicitor
- AND -
IN THE MATTER OF THE SOLICITORS ACT 1974
Mr J R C Clitheroe (in the chair)
Mr R B Bamford
Mr D E Marlow
Date of Hearing: 18th November 2004
APPLICATION FOR RESTORATION
TO THE ROLL
of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal
Constituted under the Solicitors Act 1974
An application was made by Affidavit to which he attested on 5th July 2004 by Steven
Richard Daultrey of Glendale, London Road, Balcombe, West Sussex, RH17 6HT that his
name be restored to the Roll of Solicitors.
The application was heard at the Court Room, 3rd Floor, Gate House, 1 Farringdon Street,
London, EC4M 7NS when David Mclntosh, solicitor and partner in the firm ofDavies
Arnold Cooper of 6-8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8DD appeared for the Applicant and
The Law Society, the Respondent to the Application, was represented by Andrew Miller,
solicitor employed by The Law Society at 8 Dormer Place, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AE.
The Applicant's History
1. The Applicant was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in 1977 and was struck off the
Roll by Order of the Tribunal on 3rd June 1982.
2. The allegations made against the Respondent in 1982 were that he had:
(1) failed to comply with the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1975 in that he
notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 8 of the said Rules, drew out of client
account money other than that permitted by Rule 7 of the said Rules;
(2) been guilty of conduct unbefitting a solicitor in that he:
(a) utilised money held and received by him on behalf of certain clients for
the purposes of other clients;
(b) made untruthful and misleading statements to his clients.
3. At the material times the Applicant had been in practice in partnership under the style
of Montague Daultrey at Woodford Green, Essex.
4. The facts leading to the Striking Off Order are set out in paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 below.
5. The firm, in the person of the Respondent had acted for Mr P in connection with a
property transaction. On 26th November 1980 the relevant account in the client's
ledger showed a credit balance of £44,620.61. It was then charged with a client
account payment of £22,642.05 in respect of a telegraphic transfer for the account of a
Mrs W thereby reducing the credit balance on the account ot £21,978.56. The
Tribunal were told that the Respondent held a Power of Attorney on behalf of Mr and
Mrs W who had moved to America and urgently wanted the proceeds of sale of their
house here for the purchase of a house in that country. Unfortunately this Power of
Attorney was defective and the purchasers of Mr and Mrs W's house would not
complete. The Respondent had then used monies belonging to another client, Mr P, a
personal friend, to pay Mr and Mrs W. In order to conceal the improper payment the
Respondent had instructed the firm's bookkeeper to make a false entry charging it to
Mr P's account. The cash shortage of £22,642.05 was eliminated on 15th December
1980 following a transfer from office bank account of £3,932.25 together with the
introduction of funds totalling £18,709.80 from the personal resources of Mr
Montague, a partner in the firm.
6. In May 1978 the Respondent commenced acting for a Mr H who was claiming a sum
of money by way of commission from his former employers. The Respondent
conducted the matter properly until October 1979 but thereafter took no steps in the
matter. In August 1980 in response to an enquiry from Mr H the Respondent told him
that he had negotiated terms of settlement which Mr H found acceptable. The
Respondent had not in fact concluded any negotiations but in pursuance of the
deception which he had practised upon his clients he wrote to him a letter on 6th
August 1980 enclosing a cheque for £250 which he described as "the first part
payment received". The Respondent had obtained the £250 by extracting that sum
from a Building Society account in the joint names of his partner, Mr Montague and
7. In November 1979 the Respondent commenced proceedings on behalf of a client of
the firm Mr J, for the recovery of £3,000. By January 1980 a defence had been
delivered but thereafter the Respondent did nothing to forward the proceedings and
when in October 1980 Mr J enquired as to the position the Respondent told Mr J that
he had signed judgement and was expecting the balance of the judgement debt to be
paid shortly. Pursuant to this untruth he handed Mr J a cheque for £250 "on account".
Once again the Respondent had utilised the joint Building Society account in the
name of his partner and himself.
The Applicant's case
8. At the date of the hearing the Applicant was employed as Group Director,
Compliance Officer and Money Laundering Reporting Officer ("MLRO") with an
international group of companies. The Applicant was married and he and his wife
had three children.
9. After serving articles, the Applicant had remained with his training firm for a while
after admission and had joined Mr Montague in partnership after meeting him in the
10. The Applicant had, save when he was away at university, been a regular visitor to
Leytonstone House, a National Health Service mental hospital which had both "open"
and "locked" wards. There he assisted the staff and the patients in all aspects of the
operation of the hospital which included helping the patients with day to day activities
within the hospital and outside With the consent of his principals he had also worked
as a volunteer at the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
11. The Applicant first met Mr Montague while working at the CAB. He was 23 years of
age at that time: Mr Montague was some six or so years older. Mr Montague was an
employed solicitor but he wished to establish his own commercial solicitors practice
operating outside central London. That was a concept which very much appealed to
the Applicant and, when Mr Montague invited him to John him as a partner in his
practice, the Applicant agreed.
12. The Applicant felt very much that it was Mr Montague's practice and he was most
anxious to prove his worth. He sought to run his cases independently and efficiently.
Mr Montague's seniority was demonstrated by his larger monthly drawings. The
clients of the practice were those of Mr Montague.
13. The Applicant's exposure in articles was in the main to a major financing and
redevelopment of a prestigious area of central London and the sale of a privately
owned business to a public quoted company. He was also exposed to areas of
corporate tax, international contracts and with media and sports work. At all times he
was supervised by more experienced solicitors and partners.
14. There was a contrast between the work the Applicant undertook in articles and that
which confronted him in the partnership with Mr Montague. The Applicant had no
experience in many of the areas of work which he was required to undertake. The
sheer number of cases handled by the Applicant, in the main in small residential
conveyancing matters, was quite overwhelming. Office duties were added to the
client case load. The Applicant worked very long hours without supervision.
15. The practice grew in size. The Applicant did not appreciate at the time the increasing
burden that the practice was imposing upon him. The Applicant's caseload continued
to increase and for the first time he was personally answerable to an increasing
number of individual clients.
16. The Applicant believed that he was being stretched beyond the limits of his
knowledge and capability.
17. Throughout his partnership the Applicant had been extremely worried by the
behaviour of his father who was an alcoholic and who had in 1976 suffered from a
brain haemorrhage. The Applicant had to assist his mother, usually in vain, in trying
to exert some form of control over his father. The Applicant had attended Waltham
Forest Magistrates Court to make a plea in mitigation when his father faced a charge
of being drunk and disorderly in a public place.
18. Throughout his partnership with Mr Montague the Applicant was very much aware of
the opportunity that he had been given at an extremely young age and he was
determined not to let Mr Montague down. To ask for help would have shown
weakness or incapability on the Applicant's part and he resolved to continue to work
without asking for help.
19. With the benefit of greater maturity and experience which the past 23 years had
provided, the Applicant came to realise that, at best, he was unwise to continue
without seeking help. The additional emotional pressures did amount to an
explanation for his conduct. The Applicant blindly continued until he reached the
point where he behaved in the manner described in the Findings and Order of the
Tribunal of 3rd June 1982.
20. The Tribunal was invited to note that the Applicant's offences were committed within
an isolated period of only a few months in 1980 and related only to three clients.
They occurred in wholly exceptional circumstances some of which were not fully
appreciated by the Tribunal in 1982.
21. Mr Montague had terminated the partnership upon hearing of the Applicant's actions
in relation to Mr and Mrs W's matter.
22. Some 14 months later in February 1982 the Applicant received notice of the
disciplinary proceedings brought by The Law Society.
23. The Applicant recognised that if read in isolation and without explanation, those
allegations appeared to refer to the most serious unprofessional conduct.
24. Until March 1982 (following his marriage and honeymoon) the Applicant did nothing
but did finally telephone The Law Society's solicitor and explained to him the
circumstances which had affected the Applicant during the last months of his
partnership with Mr Montague prior to December 1980. He had been particularly
anxious to ensure that the allegations were withdrawn where they related to the
description of the account from which two sums of £250 had been withdrawn. These
moneys were described as client moneys or were office moneys which had been
withdrawn without the approval of his partner. Neither was correct.
25. Threats of violence had been made against the Applicant in Mr and Mrs W's matter.
The Law Society's solicitor told the Applicant that he accepted the explanation in
relation to those matters.
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