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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 July, 2003, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Solicitor suspended over fraud
A Shropshire solicitor who moved thousands of pounds from clients' accounts to his own firm has been suspended for five years.

Andrew Hudson, 48, appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on Tuesday.

An investigation into his firm found a shortfall in his clients' funds of more than 100,000.

Mr Hudson failed to tell many of his clients that he was transferring their money into an office account.

He then used the funds for his own benefit.

The tribunal decided Mr Hudson, from Telford, was not dishonest but had broken strict protocols.

New secretary

The tribunal heard that the shortfall in his clients' funds came to light during a Law Society investigation into his firm Hudson Cowen, in Wellington.

Mr Hudson admitted six breaches of the solicitors accounts rules.

He told the hearing there had been serious breaches of the rules but said he had taken on a new secretary and his administration had fallen apart as a result.

He voluntarily closed his practice after the Law Society intervened.

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