A former cashier at a Midlands law firm has admitted stealing £1.6m from her employer.

Louise Martini from Solihull pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and theft of £1.6m from the accounts of Solihull and Shirley firm Williamson & Soden, in a hearing at Gloucester Crown Court.

Martini, who had worked at the firm for 17 years, committed the offences over a six-year period which began in 2003 and ceased when her actions were discovered in 2009.

The court heard how she used the money to help her husband’s business, as well as to buy designer clothes, jewellery, cars and a share in a racehorse. The Crown Prosecution Service discontinued money laundering charges against her husband.

Ian Williamson, partner at Williamson & Soden, said: ‘The operations of the firm have continued unaffected since the partners discovered the theft in February 2009. We were and are of course fully insured, and have worked closely with our insurers and the police from the beginning. No client has been affected and no client has had or will have cause to complain.’

Williamson said the funds were completely restored to the firm within a short time of the theft being discovered, and the firm had conducted a thorough investigation to ensure there would be no further problems.

Martini’s solicitor Stephen Daly, a consultant at Birmingham firm Dass, declined to comment in advance of her sentencing, expected in October.