Fined Kean grateful for messages of support
CELEBRITY lawyer Gerald Kean says he has been "overwhelmed" with kind messages since being fined €20,000 by a disciplinary tribunal.
The 57-year-old was left reeling this week when a tribunal ruled he mishandled a case relating to a row over €985.
Mr Kean, who is engaged to model Lisa Murphy, said he will be lodging an appeal in the High Court in the coming days.
"I'm waiting for the final transcripts from the tribunal and I will be appealing. On that basis I can't really say anymore," he told the Irish Independent.
However, he said that despite the publicity around the case he has received "very positive messages" from clients and members of the public.
"My office has been receiving calls and emails since it was reported. It's lovely to get that much support," he said.
The fine was applied by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal which is an independent statutory tribunal appointed by the President of the High Court to consider complaints of misconduct against solicitors.
Christopher O'Neill from Drumsna, Co Leitrim, lodged a complaint against Mr Kean alleging that he mishandled his case and appeal. Mr O'Neill was sued by a surveyor for €985 and hired Mr Kean to represent him in a 2006 district court case.
It was alleged that the solicitor did not act appropriately on his behalf. In its judgment it said Mr Kean failed to submit notice to defend the civil summons, knowingly misled the client and failed to inform Mr O'Neill that he would not be representing him.
A fine of €20,000 will have to be paid by the solicitor unless his appeal to the President of the High Court is successful.
During the tribunal hearings Mr Kean denied any wrongdoing and claimed that Mr O'Neill was pursing a vendetta in relation to the case.
"I never thought I'd spend a year and a half of my life fighting for my reputation," he said.