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Dodgy Solicitor of the Week
15 June 2012
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Another week, another pair of solicitors banged up for stealing money from clients. And two new cards for RollOnFriday Dodgy Solicitor Top Trumps.

Kenneth Hunt and Barbara Gayton were jailed late last month for stealing over £1 million from their clients. The pair were partners at Hunt Kidd, a small property and employment firm in Newcastle. The firm was closed down after investigation by the SRA for financial irregularities nearly three years ago.

The firm had previously blossomed, supporting Hunt's lifestyle of fine wine and expensive holidays. But the downturn hit its practice hard, halving turnover. Lenders called in a £150,000 loan, and cut back hard on the firm's overdraft. In a last desperate attempt to keep the shop afloat, the two partners started transferring cash from client accounts into the firm's. Which, in case you needed reminding, runs contrary to section 1.2(a) of the SRA accounts rules. And is also theft.


The pair were arrested at the end of 2009, charged with fraud by abuse of position and finally faced Judge Guy Whitburn at Newcastle Crown Court at the end of May. Whilst it was accepted that neither of the partners had taken the cash to line their own pockets (well, not directly), Hunt's "pride and vanity" had led to repeat transfers of other peoples' cash into the firm's coffers. Hunt got four years inside, and Gayton two.

The sentences result in some re-shuffling in the RollOnFriday Dodgy Solicitor Top Trumps. Hunt flies straight in to fifth place, pushing HogLove's Christopher Grierson down a place into almost mid-table respectability.

 Matthew Kluger, ex Skadden
 USA  12 years
 Martin Weisberg, ex Bakers
 USA  expected 8 years
 Kevin Steele, ex Mishcon
 England  5 1/2 years
 Louise Martini, ex Williamson & Soden
 England  5 years
 Kenneth Hunt, ex Hunt Kidd
 England  4 years
 Christopher Grierson, ex Lovells
 England  3 years
 Barbara Gayton, ex Hunt Kidd
 England  2 years
 Emma Rowsell, ex CC
 England  18 months
 Richard Simkin, ex Fulbright
 England  16 months
 Judie Groom, ex CC
 England  15 months
 Partner who ran a red light, Hogan Lovells
 Dubai  20 days
 Pissed trainee, Freshfields
 Dubai  2 days

If you've spotted a Dodgy Solicitor who deserves to go into the pack, please send in the details.



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anonymous user
14/06/2012 23:37
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Heh @ him being called K Hunt.
anonymous user
15/06/2012 05:33
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How long until some former big names in Manchester (and a few in London, Sheffield and Liverpool) join this list?
anonymous user
15/06/2012 12:44
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Theres a few of the 'K-Hunt' family knew about this who worked in there. Naughty K-Hunt!