A former partner at Bircham Dyson Bell has been struck off after ripping off his clients and leaving his partners with a massive bill.

William Pencharz was a partner at BDB until 2010, when a routine internal review found problems with 125 of his files. The firm kicked him out, reported him to the SRA and subsequently wrote to him seeking to recover nearly £3m, of which £1.94m was the "likely sum to reimburse client accounts for improper billing".

Last month Pencharz was up before the Tribunal. At least in spirit if not in person as he refused to attend or to make any submissions, said that any emails sent to him would be deleted unread, and refused to receive post at a UK address. In his absence the Tribunal ruled that he had been a very bad man indeed, grossly overcharging clients, making false expenses claims and investing money in the "Poop Company Ltd", a vehicle supposedly set up to try to salvage sunken treasure from the Spanish Armada.

    How Pencharz was going to reimburse his clients

Pencharz was struck off and ordered to pay £34,000 in costs.

A spokesman for BDB said "we note and fully support the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal decision against Mr Pencharz. The SRA has confirmed that no action is to be taken against the firm or any other member of the firm. No client money has been lost and we continue to take all steps necessary to ensure that no clients have suffered as a result of the actions of Mr. Pencharz".
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