Clive Franks, Franks Macadam Brown solicitors, Edinburgh. A SOLICITOR who sat on a Law Society of Scotland Complaints Committee and acted as a ‘Reporter’ for the society in complaints investigations against corrupt lawyers, killed himself the same week the Law Society launched an investigation into missing client funds and faulty accounting.
CLIVE FRANKS (60), a partner in Edinburgh law firm, Franks Macdam Brown.was found dead in the garage of his home in Dalgety Bay, Fife, at around 4.30pm on Monday, November 10.
Franks had been under Investigation by the Law Society, after concerns were raised over his firm's accounts. It is reported he was facing suspension of his practicing certificate.
After reports of irregularities, reports from inside the Law Society suggest client money was either missing, or the accounting records were so poor or had been faked up to cover possible fraud, it was hard to tell whether cash had disappeared.
Mr Franks last year defended a high profile case involving building tycoon Alfred Stewart, who cut his four children out of his £6.7mllllon will and left the bulk of the money to charity when he died In 2008. The will was changed 28 days before Stewart died, and named Franks as his personal solicitor and executor.
During the case, evidence was accepted revealing millionaire Alfred Stewart – who was given an MBE by the Queen, was actually a paedophile and had sexually abused a girl from the age of four until she was ten.
Franks was also a trustee of the Alfred Stewart Trust, the charity established in the will.
A spokesman for the society said: "We were very saddened to hear about the death of Mr Franks and offer our sympathies to his friends and family during what must be a distressing time."
"We can confirm that Mr Franks was subject to an Investigation by the Law Society. A Judicial factor was appointed by the courts on Friday, November 14. The application to appoint a judicial factor was made to the court to protect clients' interests after the Law Society raised concerns about the firm's accounting records."
The Law Society have not issued a press release on the case. Franks Macadam Brown could not be contacted for comment.
Coincidentally, Clive Franks suicide came the same week the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) launched a 'How to' complaint against a lawyer video in an attempt to curb rising numbers of complaints against corrupt solicitors and poor legal services in Scotland.
The case bears similarities to that of solicitor James Muir, based in Bothwell, Lanarkshire, who committed suicide in 2005 after it was revealed he was being investigated by the Scottish Legal Aid Board for stealing £1.8 million in Legal Aid.