Solicitor struck off for misconduct


A LAWYER with a €273,000 deficit in his client account used €96,000 of the money for his own personal use, the High Court heard yesterday before striking him off the roll of solicitors for misconduct.

David G O’Shea (42), formerly practising as a partner in O’Donavan Solicitors, Capel Street, Dublin, was found guilty by a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) of misappropriating funds including €80,000 from one client’s account, which was given to Italian lawyer Giovanni de Stafano’s Studio Legale Internazionale in November 2006.

Mr O’Shea was dismissed from O’Donavan’s in March 2009, and had also been suspended from working as a solicitor.

In an affidavit, Mr O’Shea said Mr de Stefano introduced him in July 2008 to a family in Killarney, Kerry, who had to sell their home arising out of High Court enforcement proceedings. He said he handled the sale and when Mr de Stefano demanded €80,000 in fees, the family refused to pay.

Mr de Stefano then threatened the safety of Mr O’Shea’s two infant daughters if he failed to come up with the €80,000, Mr O’Shea said. He said he panicked and eventually handed over a bank draft for that sum at Dublin airport to Mr de Stefano’s son, Michael, using money from another client’s account.

President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns struck Mr O’Shea off in relation to the misappropriation of funds.