A crooked lawyer has been struck off for embezzling more than £1 million.
Investigators from the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal (SSDT) carried out an extensive probe into lawyer David Lyons and uncovered a catalogue of illegal practices.
David Lyons, 64, of Lyons Laing, which had offices in Greenock and Glasgow, consistently defrauded clients by charging excessive amounts for work and fees he was not entitled to, the SSDT found.
It also emerged during an investigation that Lyons secured a £1,010,000 property loan from the Bank of Ireland, but kept the cash for himself.
Lyons, of Kilmacolm, Inverclyde, made no attempt to defend himself to the SSDT. Striking off Lyons, officials from the SSDT concluded: “There was no sign of any remorse or insight into his conduct. He was a clear danger to the public and his conduct was extremely damaging to the reputation of the legal profession. He was clearly not a fit person to continue to be a solicitor.”
His partner Duncan Drummond, 60, has also been struck off.
In one case Drummond, of Pollokshields, Glasgow, charged £15,700 for work he’d carried out which auditors calculated should actually have totalled £2,350 – a mark up of 568 per cent. In another case he sent out a £4,000 bill for £1,125 worth of work. Defending his position, Drummond claimed their firm had developed financial problems after one of its partners left leaving them with a serious debt problem.
Concerns about their firm were first raised as far back as 2009.
A spokeswoman for the Law Society of Scotland said: “We had recognised problems at the firm and had prosecuted both partners before the independent Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal in February this year.
“Further concerns were identified during an inspection by our financial compliance team in April and May.
“The society then made an application to the Court of Session for the appointment of a judicial factor to investigate the society’s concerns.”
It was after the conclusion of that investigation legal chiefs moved to ban the pair.
Police Scotland have confirmed there is no investigation into the duo.