BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Overcharging solicitor struck off
Pitts Tucker where Philip Huxtable worked
Huxtable overcharged one client by over 600%
A North Devon solicitor has been struck off for overcharging clients by more than 100,000.

Philip Huxtable, 52, was accused of charging up to six times the reasonable amount for work carried out.

Mr Huxtable was the sole practitioner at Pitts Tuckers in Barnstable, the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal was told.

The firm was closed by the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors last October.

Mr Huxtable was accused of withdrawing money from clients' accounts, following a Law Society inspection of the accounts of four of his clients.

Philip Huxtable
Mr Huxtable had been practising for 32 years

The tribunal found Mr Huxtable, who had been practising for 32 years, had overcharged the clients by 102,695 between July 2000 and September 2001.

The Law Society has received 120 compensation claims totalling 1.147m by former clients of Pitts Tuckers as a result of the probe.

It has already paid out 665,000, the hearing in central London, was told.

Peter Cadman, representing the Law Society, said the amount of work done by the solicitor did not justify the charges.

He said in one case, "if he had done all this work there would be sufficient papers to fill two or three bankers' boxes. In fact, it filled two Manila envelopes".

Ill health

Mr Cadman said that the solicitor had overcharged by as much as 606% in one case, charging 12,000 instead of the 1,980 that would be "reasonably expected".

In another case he charged 58,448 instead of 11,825 - an overcharge of 494%.

But Mr Huxtable's friend, barrister Jonathon Fulthorpe, told the tribunal that the solicitor, who was not at the hearing and was not represented, had been overworked and was suffering from ill health.

He said: "He is an extremely honourable and honest man.

Broken man

"Any inference of dishonesty is something he strenuously disputes.

"But he truly regrets the breaches and takes full and unqualified responsibility for them."

He said Mr Huxtable had been ruined and was now "a broken man".

Chair of the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal Richard Bamford ordered Mr Huxtable to pay costs of 15,501.


Click here to go to Devon
See also:

11 Sep 02 | England
23 Jul 02 | Wales
15 Jul 02 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes