High Court rejects bid to close down solicitors' practice

High Court rejects bid to close down solicitors' practice

The High Court has rejected a Law Society recommendation to shut down a family solicitors where one of the partners admits gambling away millions of euros of clients' money.

Ruairi O'Ceallaigh - who ran the firm Sean O'Ceallaigh Company in Phibsboro, Dublin, with his brother Cormac - was suspended from practice late last month.

The High Court was informed today that the Law Society believes it would be prudent to shut down the family practice.

It fears the law firm will not be able to meet its debts which an independent accountant has put at €6.3m.

It was the younger partner in the company Cormac O'Ceallaigh who alerted the Law Society last month to problems in the firm's accounts after his brother Ruairi– now suspended from practice - admitted to gambling away €2.4m of clients' money on property and shares.

While nothing has been unveiled showing any wrongdoing by Cormac O'Ceallaigh the society is concerned that a partner could allow such massive debts to arise on his watch.

The President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns today said the matter is of the utmost gravity, but rather than drop the guillotine he has given the firm four weeks to come up with new proposals on how it will meet the deficit.

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