Thursday, November 19, 2009
I remember years ago when I was an articled clerk finishing my first file and taking it to my principal to ask how much I should charge the client. He weighed the file in one hand, grinned, and said "about £800". He was joking. Solicitor Trevor Hobden, however, was not joking when he told investigators that he calculated fees in precisely this way.
It's not often that proceedings in the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal make the national papers, but this case did. Apart from his novel way of calculating costs, Hobden took money from clients for his costs without billing them and billed for doing no work. He was struck off after being found guilty of taking money from a client account in respect of costs without delivering a bill, taking money which was not properly due to him, overcharging a client and failing to give clients proper information.
Interestingly, and amusingly, he was cleared of having compromised or impaired his integrity.