Solicitor Guilty of Misconduct

6 January 2020

In the matter of Gary Matthews, a solicitor practising as Gary Matthews Solicitors, 27 Rosses Quay, Rostrevor, Co Down, BT34 3GL, and in the matter of an application by the Law Society of Ireland to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal [8178/DT164/14]

On 24 October 2019, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found the respondent solicitor guilty of misconduct in his practice as a solicitor in the following matters:

1) On or around 26 July 2010, he failed to disclose to his client that he had compromised the matter with a named insurance company for a sum of €23,000,

2) On or around 26 July 2010, he arranged for a cheque that was crossed and made payable to his client to be lodged to an account under his control, contrary to section 66(17) of the Solicitors Act 1954 (as amended by section 76 of the Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1994),

3) He misrepresented by way of an email dated 23 August 2010 to the complainant, that a named insurance company had made the payment in respect of the settlement directly into the complainant’s bank account, when he knew or ought to have known that this payment, in fact, originated from his firm, and

4) He misrepresented on one or more occasions to the complainant that the settlement of €23,000 made by the named insurance company included a specific amount(s) to cover legal fees and outlays, when he was aware or ought to have been aware that no part of the €23,000 was attributable to legal fees.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal made the following orders on 24 October 2019:

1) That the respondent solicitor stand censured,

2) That the respondent solicitor pay the sum of €5,000 to the compensation fund of the applicant,

3) That the respondent solicitor pay the agreed costs of the applicant to be taxed by a taxing master of the High Court in default of agreement.

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