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Concern for solicitor who 'fled country' amid probe

A SOLICITOR under investigation by the Law Society has "skipped the country" and may have abandoned his practice, the High Court has heard.

The solicitor, who cannot be named by order of the court, has been missing since Saturday last and has not been in contact with his wife since then, James McDermott, for the society, said.

While the society is concerned about the state of his practice, it is also concerned about his "potentially fragile health," Mr McDermott said.

The society had decided to seek orders suspending him and freezing of his accounts after he failed to turn up at a meeting with the society's Regulation and Practice Committee, counsel said.

He was being investigated over a number of alleged deficiencies within his practice, including stamp duty being owed to the Revenue and the failure to have deeds stamped.

After he did not attend the meeting, an investigating accountant phoned his office and spoke to his wife who said he "had skipped the country," counsel said.

The society took the view this was an abandonment of the solicitor's practice and decided to bring yesterday's court application, counsel said.