IT IS HEREBY AGREED between Frederick Brian Hall, Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court of Bedford House, 16-22 Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7DS, as Committee of the estate of Frederick Andrews junior (hereinafter called "the Patient") and Messrs Tughan & Co, solicitors of Marlborough House, 30 Victoria Street, Belfast BT1 3GS (hereinafter called "Tughan & Co");
1. In addition to the sums of £378.00 and £4,095.00 referred to in the Order of The Honourable Mr Justice MacDermott made on 23 December 1985 which are payable by Tughan & Co to the Official Solicitor on behalf of the Patient in settlement of the specific claims described in the said Order a further sum of £45,125.00 will be paid by Tughan & Co, subject to the approval of the Court, in respect of rental income (which should have been secured on behalf of the Patient from his properties at 62-65 Smithfield and at 66-69 Smithfield and 1-11 Francis Street, Belfast in the period from 1 November 1975 up to 28 February 1986).
2. Upon the payment of the said sum of £45,125.00 by Tughan & Co the Official Solicitor will repay to Tughan & Co the sum of £35,000.00 in respect of the price originally tendered to the Patient on 14 October 1977 for purchase of the said properties described in paragraph 1 together with a sum representing the gross interest earned upon the investment of the said sum of £35,000.00 from that date up to 28 February 1986.
3. The figure of £45,125.00 referred to in paragraph 1 represents rental income which should have been received by the Patient in each of the Tax years from 1974-75 up to the current Tax year (1985-86). In the event that the Patient is assessed for payment of any additional tax or interest on unpaid tax in respect of the late settlement of his claim (in excess of aggregate amount of tax which he would otherwise have had to pay in the individual years of assessment) Tughan & Co will indemnify the Patient against such additional or excess tax liability.
4. Tughan & Co will pay to the Official Solicitor his costs in respect of work undertaken by him in connection with his current review of the Patient's affairs and will pay to the Deputy Official Solicitor, Peter J Rankin, the costs due to him and to his partner John G Drennan, the former Official Solicitor, in respect of all nugatory work undertaken by either of them in connection with their original review of the Patient's affairs including costs due on foot of the Writ of Summons against Tughan & Co issued in the Chancery Division on 3 June 1981 under record number 1981 Number 379. The said costs will be taxed in default of agreement.
5. The settlement of the specific claims referred to in the said Order of 23 December 1985 and in paragraph 1 of this Agreement is made without prejudice to any other claims which the Patient may have against Tughan & Co.
6. The terms set out in this Agreement, if approved, will be incorporated in an Order of the Court on the application of the Official Solicitor.
Dated this 6th day of March 1986.
SIGNED on behalf of Tughan & Co
by their solicitors,
Messrs McCloskey & Co,
in the presence of:
SIGNED on behalf of the Patient
by his Committee,
the Official Solicitor,
in the presence of:
J Christopher NAPIER
The content of the above Court Order is so important that I have scanned in its three actual pages below.
The first thing I would like you to note is the fact that this Court Order is not signed by a representative of McCloskey and Co., nor is it signed by the Official Solicitor Hall himself.
This is interesting for a very special reason. In a letter sent to my sister Mrs. Vera Douglas by Official Solicitor Hall dated 7 April 1986, it states at paragraph 13, quote,
"13. You have asked why counsel and solicitors representing the separate interests of members of the family only received details of the final Agreement from me on the afternoon of Friday 7 March - immediately before the commencement of the review sitting on that day. Mr McFerran (of Messrs McCloskey & Co) representing Messrs Tughan & Co had been suffering from a virus infection and was absent from his office on days earlier that week. As a result I was only able to obtain his signature to the Agreement dated 6 March 1986 at 10.30 pm on the evening before the hearing - when I called with him at his own home. It was then too late to circulate copies of the Agreement by post and copies were provided in Court at the hearing itself. In paragraph 9 of my letter to you of 3 April I have pointed out that the basis upon which the settlement was concluded had been fully described in paragraph 11 of my second report dated 2 December 1985 of which copies were circulated to all interested parties. The only significant feature of the final Agreement which was different from copies already circulated at the earlier hearing on 20 December 1985 was the adjustment of the figure for lost rental income."
If you, Mr. Hall, DID get Mr. McFerran's signature, where is it? It is not on the Court Order below. Why did you, Mr. Hall, wait so long to go to Mr. McFerran's home to get his signature. Shouldn't you have got it earlier in the week when you knew he was unwell - if he was unwell at all. Was there no-one else to sign it? In fact, according to the Court Order below, Mr. McFerran's signature was not required at all. Anyone ELSE belonging to McCloskey & Co was required to sign it IN THE PRESENCE OF Mr. McFerran.
Similarly, you, Official Solicitor Hall, were required to SIGN your name IN THE PRESENCE OF Mr. J. Christopher Napier, something you did not do, probably to keep the 'Court Order' balanced.
The real reason this 'Court Order' is not signed is that any other solicitor accepting this document as an Agreement and putting his/her name to it was risking his/her career.
My sister, the late Vera Douglas, questioned your figure of £45,125, Mr. Hall, for the above-mentioned back rent, and in your letter to her dated 3/4/86, you give reasons in paragraph 2 for your figure which is over NINE times my sister's calculation. My late sister was a very clever lady and not prone to telling lies.
When Tughan & Co received a bill of £45,125 from you, Mr. Hall, as Official Solicitor, Tughan & Co would have no problem obtaining that amount from their insurance company, even though this claim was based on your 'calculation'. According to your Agreement with Tughan & Co., this sum was sent to you. Again, according to your Agreement, you returned £35,000 of that money to Tughan & Co., leaving an amount with you, Mr. Hall, of £10,125.
Now, that is where you lose me a little, Mr. Hall.
You stated in your letter of 3/4/86, paragraph 6, to Vera Douglas, quote,
"6. The figure of £35,000 about which you have enquired (and which is mentioned in paragraph 2 of the Agreement dated 6 March 1986) represents the sum originally tendered to the Patient (or, if you prefer, to Mr Herbert Wright then acting on his behalf) which was lodged to credit of an account in the Northern Ireland Industrial Bank on 14 October 1977. When, as a result of my enquiries, it was established that no legal title had ever been acquired by Andrews and Company (Belfast ) Limited to the Smithfield properties as a result of the transaction in 1977 it followed logically that the Company was entitled to receive that sum (its own money) together with all investment income which had been earned during the period from 14 October 1977 up to the actual settlement date - 12 March 1986."
You know, Mr. Hall, that this £35,000 was placed in an account in the names of Charles Gilpin and Herbert Wright in the Northern Ireland Industrial Bank in Bangor, in fact you stated to the High Court Judge at paragraph 18 of your first Report quote, "I have confirmed with the Northern Ireland Industrial Bank Limited that an account was opened with them early in October 1977 under the title "Mr Charles Gilpin and Mr Bertie Wright as trustees for Mr Fred Andrews" and that the payment of £35.000 was lodged to credit of that account on 14 October 1977. Charles Gilpin placed that money there - OR DID HE? Let us say, for sake of argument, that he did. This money was not in the name of my brother Freddie nor was it going to get to my brother Freddie despite Gilpin and Wright assuming the roles of 'trustees' for my brother which they were not, as no such appointments had ever been made. In fact, my father did appoint trustees, but they were solicitor Gwendoline Sullivan and Mr. Burnside. If my brother had been almost penniless, neither Charles Gilpin nor Herbert Wright nor you for that matter, Mr. Hall, would ever have been known to the Andrews family. Nevertheless, you, Mr. Hall, went out of your way to be seen to win a very substantial sum of money in compensation for my brother, from this crooked firm of solicitors, Tughan & Co., a sum so large that it was questioned by my honest sister, Vera Douglas. Then, according to your 'Agreement' with this crooked firm of solicitors, Tughan & Co., you returned £35,000 of my brother's compensation to this crooked firm of solicitors, Tughan & Co., who did not, and never did, hold the original £35,000, which you stated was, quote, "the sum originally tendered to the Patient". You know that this sum was never tendered to the Patient, yet you handed over £35,000 of the Patient's compensation when you should not have done any such thing.
What you did, Mr. Hall, in this scenario, was to hand over £35,000 of, probably, insurance money to Tughan & Co as a gift. Tughan & Co. employee Herbert Wright and Charles Gilpin were still 'in possession' of the original £35.000 which had made a load of money in interest in their bank account in the NIIB in Bangor and you knew that, didn't you, Mr. Hall? Since Freddie was not in possession of that original £35.000 it should not have been taken out of the 'compensation' that you told the High Court Judge you were chasing on the advice of Mr. Kerr QC, now Lord Justice Kerr. That was not all, Mr. Hall, was it? You also handed over, out of the £45,125 compensation you claimed for my brother, all the interest etc., which had accrued over the years on that '£35,000', from 1 November 1975 up to 28 February 1986. You do not say how much THAT amounted to. At a guess, I would say that all this would have eaten up the balance of £10,125 which you had 'won' for Freddie and which he never received. I would say that Tughan & Co got their full £45,125 back and Freddie still got nothing. Wouldn't you? THAT is why the Andrews family and anyone else who is interested in justice must see my brother's accounts. Given your first Report to the High Court, Mr. Hall, and your damning account of the mismanagement of Freddie's affairs by Tughan & Co and their employee Herbert Wright, would you not admit that you have been a very silly boy? I mean, you say one thing to a High Court Judge and then go and do worse than the people you condemn.
I'll tell you, Mr. Hall, what you did. You found a way to add up a massive £45,125 estimate of back rent owed to my brother, nine times that which my honest and clever sister, Vera Douglas, had estimated, and an amount you never had any intention of passing on to my mentally-handicapped brother. If it was coming out of an insurance company it may as well be a worth while amount. This enabled Tughan & Co to claim that amount from their insurance company. You colluded with Tughan & Co., and found what you thought was a way of making a handy £45,125 which was shared among a few friends. Instead of protecting my mentally-handicapped brother, Freddie, you, Mr. Hall along with others, actually used Freddie's vulnerability to exploit him for your own selfish and greedy ends. Of course, this was only the tip of the iceberg.
I do wonder, Mr. Hall, if Freddie had to pay any income tax on this money? Now, add all the interest which had been added to the original £35,000 in the NIIB in Bangor to the £45,125 jackpot and that would amount to a tidy little earner, as Arthur Daley would say, and you would probably say so too, Mr. Hall.
Just in passing, Mr. Hall, when my father had this showroom built, it cost around £200,000, yet you don't seem to have raised any objection to its being 'sold' for £35,000. Maybe you feel, oh heck, sure it only belongs to a mentally handicapped chap who doesn't know the value of money anyway.....Ah, but when Neville Johnston, who thought they had bought it, tried to sell it to the Ryland Vehicle Group, the price was now £375,000. This reminds me of the 'sale' of Freddie's home at 14 Castlehill Road. Right, Mr. Hall?
So, now we have an interesting situation. We would seem to have a 'professional link-up' between Official Solicitor Hall and Tughan & Co and another 'professional link-up between Official Solicitor Hall and Mr. Gerald Patrick Jemphry who 'occupied' 14 Castlehill Road after my mother and Freddie were criminally and literally thrown out of their own home.
It might interest visitors to my site to know that the £35,000 'tendered to the patient'which went into the NIIB account in the names of Gilpin and solicitor Wright, came from Neville Johnston Garages. It just so happened that Charles Gilpin's son was married to Neville Johnston's widow! So, in effect and in practice, the £35,000 was put into Charles Gilpin's account with the NIIB by the bossy Charles Gilpin himself. You might like to read that again.
Of course there is more.........!
This address of this showroom was 60-65 Smithfield and eighteen months after Charles Gilpin paid out £35,000 for it into his own account in the NIIB, Neville Johnston - alias - Charles Gilpin - 'sold' it to the Ryland Group for £375,000, a profit of £340,000. Nice work if you can get it.
Now, the first Official Solicitor, Mr. Drennan, who was in charge of Freddie's affairs at the time of this 'sale' to the Ryland Group must have had a problem with this and no wonder, but when he reported to the High Court Judge on this, do you know what he did? Instead of referring to the showroom as 60-65 Smithfield which it was, Mr. Drennan relocated the showroom to 68-69 Smithfield which was Freddie's property of course, but it was the corner site of Conlon's pub.
Are you with me?
To be continued.....!