Solicitor banned from practising after giving false information to help sister obtain mortgage
Published 13/04/2015 | 18:23
A solicitor who admitted giving false information to help his sister obtain a mortgage has been banned from practising for ten years.
The president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns made the order against Patrick E Callanan, formerly practising in Wells & O'Carroll Solicitors, Main Street Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.
The judge was told Mr Callanan (age 48), Carraig Brook, Ivy Lane, Carrickmacross, admitted that in 2004 he knowingly provided a false certificate of earnings for his sister to Permanent TSB, ICS Building Society, IIB Home Loans.
He also admitted providing false certificates to PTSB and IIB stating that his sister worked as a law clerk at the firm Wells & O'Carroll when she was never employed by the firm.
He also admitted giving multiple undertakings to lending institutions to register a first charge in their favour in respect of a property in Carrickmacross.
Last year, a Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), which considered the complaints made by Mr Callanan's former partner in the law firm, found the solicitor's actions amounted to misconduct.
The SDT, noting Mr Callanan's early admissions, recommended he not be permitted to practice as a sole practioner and he only be allowed practice as an assistant solicitor under the supervision of another solicitor of at least 10 years standing.
The SDT also recommended he be prohibited from signing any cheques or authorising payments over any client account.
When the matter came before Mr Justice Kearns Monday (April 13) Paul Anthony McDermott Bl, for the Law Society, applied for an order striking Mr Callanan off the Roll of Solicitors.
Mr Callanan should be struck off because the SDT's recommendations were not appropriate given the findings of misconduct made against the solicitor.
It was also in the interests of the protection of the public and the maintenance of the reputation of the solicitors profession the Mr Callanan be struck off, counsel said.
Gabriel Gavigan SC, for Mr Callanan, said the SDT's recommendations should be implemented by the court.
His client had admitted his wrong doing and had taken steps to right the wrongs.
He had repaid all outstanding amounts due and there had been "no loss to any party", counsel said.
He gave multiple undertakings to participate in "the property frenzy" that existed at the time which allowed him acquire properties in China, counsel said.
The Chinese properties have been either sold or are in the process of being sold.
Mr Callanan had tried "to help his sister get on the property ladder," which his client accepted "was a stupid thing to do," counsel said.
His client was currently without any income, and hoped to secure a job in another area.
Mr Callanan was prepared to give an undertaking not to practise as a solicitor, counsel said.
Should he wish to return to practice counsel said his client would first
apply to the High Court and ask to be released from his undertaking,
Mr Justice Kearns ordered that Mr Callanan should be prevented from
practising as a solicitor for 10 years.
Should he wish to return to practice after that he would have to apply to
the court, the Judge said.