A Scottish solicitor has been struck off the roll for stealing legal aid money and failing to pay advocates for their work.
Jeremy Cram set up the eponymous firm AJ Cram solicitors in 2011. According to the now-defunct firm's website, Cram provided a "professional and personal service" and took "a unique approach" to his work. Part of that uniqueness was for Cram to instruct advocates on cases but neglect to pay them, as he had not obtained legal aid funding. In other matters where Cram obtained funding, he kept hold of thousands of pounds in legal aid which was intended to be passed on to advocates. Cram failed to pay advocates a total of £28,500.
Three disgruntled advocates complained to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission after Cram ignored their repeated requests for payment.
Cram's firm closed in 2015, but his website appears to be live. The contact phone number listed on the site now connects to a heating centre, which probably gives better legal advice.
The Scottish Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal heard the case against Cram recently. The vice-chairman of the tribunal said that Cram "neglected his professional duties" in failing to pay the advocates' fees, and slammed him for being dishonest and in breach of his duty as a solicitor "to act with integrity".
The tribunal also gave Cram a ticking-off for showing no remorse or offering an apology. Cram did not attend the hearing, but confirmed to the Law Society that he had no wish to return to the profession. Which is just as well as the tribunal struck him off the roll.