KILKENNY solicitor Padraig Butler who was found guilty of professional misconduct has been struck off the roll of solicitors by the President of the High Court, Judge Nicky Kearns.
Last October a disciplinary tribunal recommended to the President of the High Court that Butler of Butler Solicitors, Lower Patrick Street be struck off for professional misconduct.
Emer Kirwan of the Complaints and Client Relations Section of the Law Society told the tribunal that there were a number of breaches relating to four properties at Regency Court in Kilkenny city. She also outlined that there were 19 breaches in relation to property at Fiddown in Co Kilkenny where there had been a failure to discharge ACC charges.
Tim Bolger who works as a chartered accounted for the Law Society said that a number of payments were made from their compensation fund in relation to claims made against Mr Butler. In total €825,957 had been paid out.
The tribunal also heard €1.2 million was taken from the administration of the estate of the late Elizabeth Sinnott.
The tribunal found Mr Butler guilty of professional misconduct and not fit to be a solicitor and remarked that The Law Society treated the matter in most grave way.
Following the hearing the tribunal prepared a report for the President of the High Court recommending that Butler be struck off.
Mr Butler previously issued an apology through his solicitor to the tribunal and wished to apologise to the tribunal, The Law Society and his colleagues. He also stated that most of the difficulties that arose in relation to his undertakings were not of his client’s making but added that his client should not have engaged. The tribual heard that Mr Butler’s wife was one of the benefeciaries of the client’s estate from where the money was taken.
During a High Court case in 2009 Mr Butler, admitted taking €1.2 million from the dead woman’s estate despite knowing the amount due to him was more than half that sum. The court heard that Mr Butler was owed between €300,000 and €500,000 for work related to the estate and by taking the amount he did he left a deficit of between €586,000 and €850,000 in the account.
At the disciplinary hearing The Law Society was told Mr Butler didn’t have the capacity to pay back the deficit.
Last December EBS Building Society issued High Court proceedings against the now ex-solicitor. EBS obtained a jusgement of €1.2 million against Butler in 2011.