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Thieving solicitor struck off at tribunal.

A solicitor who took PS21,485 of clients' cash has been struck off.

Paul O'Donnell was branded "a disgrace to the profession" by the Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal. Two years ago O'Donnell, from Glasgow, avoided jail and was instead given a six-month electronic tagging order. He admitted embezzling the money while working for Edinburgh law firm Thorley Stephenson. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard he sold his home to pay back the money he'd taken between November 2012 and September 2014.

O'Donnell, 37, failed to attend the hearing which led to him being struck off.

The tribunal said his criminal behaviour was "incompatible with being a solicitor".

They added: "A solicitor guilty of dishonesty with clients' money forfeits the respect and trust of the public and his colleagues, and disgraces the profession. "The conduct leading to his conviction was a danger to the public and was likely to seriously damage the reputation of the legal profession. "His conviction demonstrated he was no longer a fit and proper person to be a solicitor." The Law Society of Scotland, who lodged the complaint, said the case was "a serious and reprehensible departure from the standard of conduct to be expected of a competent and reputable solicitor".

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DISGRACE O'Donnell

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 6, 2019
Words:206
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