A former law firm cashier has been barred from the legal profession after being found to have misappropriated more than £150,000 in client and office money.
Non-solicitor Matthew Haines, who worked as a senior cashier at Lancashire firm Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand, was found to have misappropriated £157,975.67 between 2009 and 2013, according to a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice posted last week.
Haines was convicted of theft in December 2013 at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court, and was sentenced to two years in prison by Preston Crown Court in February 2014.
He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.
Due to his criminal conviction, the SRA has taken the decision that it is ‘undesirable’ for Haines to work in the legal profession.
He may not be employed in any solicitor’s practice or by any solicitor without SRA permission in future.
Haines had been a ’well-trusted’ member of the team before he started misappropriating funds from office money, David Gillibrand, senior partner at Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillbrand, told the Gazette.
The funds were misappropriated using ’well-disguised accounting entries’, he explained, adding that there had been no loss to clients.
’We are really grateful to our staff and professional colleagues for quickly and effectively resolving the fallout from this,’ Gillibrand said.