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Negligence by Tughan & Co.

On 2/4/1974 title to property at 3-5 Little King Street, Belfast was transferred to Thomas Dobbin. The solicitor allegedly acting for Thomas Dobbin was John Morris and the solicitor for the vendor, Freddie Andrews, was Herbert Wright of Messrs. Tughan & Co.



Freddie Andrews did not authorise the sale of the property as he did not have the mental capacity to understand such a transaction. Freddie did not sign a 'sale agreement' or 'Deed of Conveyancing' and there was undue delay in making payment for the alleged sale. The sale was not registered at the Registry of Deeds. The same property had been the subject of a Criminal Damage claim in which Tughan & Co acted for Freddie. There was undue delay in Freddie receiving the compensation. Payment had been made by the NIO some three years prior to Freddie receiving the money. Tughan & Co refused to compensate for the delay and negligence.



On 14/11/1975 title to property at 14 Castlehill Road Belfast was transferred to Patrick G. Jemphrey. Solicitor for the vendor was Herbert Wright for Messrs. Tughan & Co.
Freddie did not authorise the sale of this property nor did he sign any 'sale agreement' or 'Deed of Conveyancing. The house was sold at a price very much below the market price and there was no payment made to Freddie.



On or about October 1975, title to property at 61 - 69 Smithfield and 1 - 11 Francis street, Belfast was allegedly transferred to Neville Johnston (Garages) Ltd. No 'sale agreement' or Deed of Conveyancing' was signed by Freddie. Again Herbert Wright allegedly acted in this ficticious sale. Freddie due to his mental state could not have been party to what took place.

It is alleged that Herbert Wright received 35,000 for this property which he placed in a deposit account with the N.I.I Bank, Bangor.
This account was in the name of Charles Gilpin and Herbert Wright. It is alleged by Tughan & Co that this was intended to be for Freddie but there was no mention of Freddie or of any Deed of Trust. The deposit has since been seized by the late Official Solicitor John Drennan.
No Deed of Conveyancing was ever registered.

The grounds on which Messrs Tughan & Co obtained the Deeds of the above-mentioned properties and the purpose for which they were obtained is very dubious. Trust and faith in the lifelong family solicitor was completely ignored. Freddie did not have the mental ability to authorise the transfer of these Deeds. These irregularities began to take place after the death of Freddie's father in 1972 and when Charles Gilpin appeared on the scene.

Tughan & Co failed to keep proper records of transactions.
They paid monies to people other than Freddie from Freddie's property.
They were negligent time after time in the manner they dealt with freddie's property and monies.
They failed to register alleged sales of property.
They have failed to prepare accurate accounts for the Official Solicitor.
They accepted Charles Gilpin's authority to sell the properties even in the case of the Smithfield/Francis Street property where Tughan & Co acted as solicitor for both the vendor and the purchaser.



On 16/2/1978 title of property at 5 - 21 Winetavern Street, Belfast was transferred to Joseph Cavanagh. Freddie did not instruct this sale but a property developer by the name of Charles M. Gilpin did. Freddie did not sign the 'sale agreement' or 'Deed of Conveyancing'. There was undue delay in making payment for the sale. The sale was not registered at the Registry of Deeds.