City law firm Hammonds has made a double gaffe by missing the 31 January
deadline to file an accountant’s report, and also by failing to ask for an
extension for missing the cut-off date.
The filing of such a report is required under solicitors’ accounting rules,
providing the Law Society with details about the handling of client money.
Evidence of this was uncovered in a letter seen by Legal Week, which was
sent to partners earlier this month by the Law Society.
‘The matter may be referred to the Compliance Directorate and either an
Adjudicator or the Adjudication Panel, who will consider your explanation
when deciding on further action,’ the Law Society added.
Hammonds changed its accountants from Bradford boutique Fletcher Greenwood
to PricewaterhouseCoopers in February last year.
Shortly after being appointed the Big Four firm reported an £8.1m shortfall
in revenues relating to the 2003-04 financial year. As part of its plan to
toughen its governance, Hammonds agreed a number of changes to its
accounting policy, including writing off more than £1m in fees.
A Hammonds spokeswoman said: ‘This was an administrative oversight, and we
are working closely with the Law Society to resolve it as soon as possible.’
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