*Bell v Birchall and others

Bankruptcy – Trustee in bankruptcy. The defendant solicitors had been in practice together until they were declared bankrupt. The trustee in bankruptcy of the first defendant applied for an order that time costs and expenses, which had been incurred in preserving files and records of the practice, reconciling the client accounts of the practice and incidental costs, should be deducted from the client accounts of the practice. The Chancery Division, in dismissing the application, held that the court did not have jurisdiction to make the order sought because, among other things, the first defendant, notwithstanding being made bankrupt, had been under an unbroken and continuing duty to manage the client accounts and client monies in accordance with the Solicitors Accounts Rules and that obligation could not be, and was not, displaced by his bankruptcy and could be, and was, displaced only when the Solicitors Regulation Authority decided to intervene in the practice.

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