Binder Hamlyn wants over #100,000 compensation from a former manager who was sent to jail in 1996 for stealing funds from one of its trusts departments.
But the firm effectively admitted it is unlikely to see the funds after it backed away from serving a writ issued by the firm’s solicitors last week.
Binders, backed by its parent firm Arthur Andersen and NatWest bank, said it was demanding the return of #107,623 from Trevor Bradley, a manager in its St Albans office between 1991 and 1996.
Over that time he siphoned off the funds from the trusts under the noses of partners at the firm. Arthur Andersen said Bradley was in a position of trust, which he abused over a period of five years.
Arthur Andersen compensated all the trustees of the funds at the time, but has now set out to recover the losses from Bradley. A spokesman admitted the firm faced an uphill struggle.
The case was particularly embarrassing for Binders because accountants, unlike lawyers, are rarely prosecuted for stealing funds. In most cases, accountants only advise clients rather than hold their investments or savings.
The Binders’ St Albans office recently gained further notoriety after it transferred a huge chunk of its private client work to local Home Counties firm Mercer & Hole.
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