Struck-off solicitor took client funds

A Waterford solicitor has been struck off after misappropriating funds from clients and allowing a deficit of over €100,000 to arise in her client account.

Gabrielle Dalton, who ran her own practice for over 10 years from Otteran Place, South Parade, has been disqualified as a result of a series of breaches of legislation governing solicitors.

The High Court made an order striking Ms Dalton’s name from the Roll of Solicitors. A lengthy inquiry before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal found her guilty of 26 counts of professional misconduct.

They included findings that she had:

* Allowed a deficit to arise in her client account in March 2008;

* Improperly withdrawn €68,970 from the account between Nov 2007 and Jan 2008 using a dummy ledger;

* Improperly transferred €27,830 from the account in Apr 2008;

* Misappropriated €30,539 of a client’s funds received to pay stamp duty, Land Registry fees and outlay in respect of the purchase of a property in Waterford;

* Misappropriated €8,711 in relation to similar fees relating to the purchase of an apartment in Kilkenny.

The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, also ordered Ms Dalton to pay the costs of the Law Society.

Ms Dalton was first suspended from legal practice in Nov 2008 when her firm’s bank accounts were frozen.

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