East Lancs solicitor struck off after £400k fraud

Kimberley Bridge

Kimberley Bridge

First published in News
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Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

A BURNLEY solicitor has been struck off after a tribunal found she misused more than £400,000 of her clients’ money to prop up her struggling firm.

Kimberley Bridge, a partner at SFN Solicitors, in Red Lion Street, was found to have breached 19 regulations, including nine charges of dishonesty.

The Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) ordered the 42-year-old, of Cumbrian Way, Burnley, to pay costs of £31,947 jointly with her sister, Nicola Roach, a clerk at the firm.

Ms Roach, who breached 10 regulations, was given an order banning her from working for a law firm without the consent of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Charles McNabb and Tracy Stansfield, also partners at SFN, were each found to have breached 10 regulations and were formally reprimanded, and each fined £2,000 with £8,420 costs.

The SDT heard Mrs Bridge tried to conceal a £186,000 shortfall in SFN’s account by creating a fictitious property sale, then claiming she was taking the lender to court for failing to send through the mortgage money.

By August 2012, there were payments worth £714,000 which had not been allocated to the correct clients in the ledger, £232,000 of which had been paid into Bridge’s personal account.

The SRA eventually discovered a shortfall of £418,000 resulting from a number of improper transactions.

Among the 19 allegations found proven against Mrs Bridge were a failure to act in the best interests of clients, a failure to act with integrity and making improper withdrawals from the client account between November 2010 and November 2012.

SFN closed its office at short notice in October 2012 and the business was wound up by the SRA in January 2013. Passing the sanctions, an SDT spokesman said: “This is a very sad but disturbing case. Mrs Bridge and Ms Roach deliberately and systematically defrauded everyone around them, including Mr McNabb and Mrs Stansfield.

“Neither Mr McNabb nor Mrs Stansfield derived benefit, and indeed suffered enormous loss.

"Mr McNabb was a senior solicitor. He was present throughout the last year and perhaps could have done more. We believe a £10,000 fine is appropriate, but given his means, have decided to fine him £2,000.

“Mrs Stansfield suffered from health problems. She made significant attempts to take advice. She has been declared bankrupt. However, she was a partner, and that is reflected in her admissions.”

Gordon Ramsay, the SRA’s director for legal and enforcement, said striking Mrs Bridge off ‘was clearly appropriate’.

He added: “Solicitors hold positions of trust, and the principles we expect them to abide by state they must act with integrity and maintain that trust that the public puts in them.”

Comments (25)

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5:21pm Thu 17 Apr 14

RobH2O says...

What a silly women. If she'd let her firm go, she would still have been a qualified solicitor and would have been able to get a job. Now she's lost her firm and lost her profession. And people have been ripped off to some tune.

So silly and ultimately criminal.
What a silly women. If she'd let her firm go, she would still have been a qualified solicitor and would have been able to get a job. Now she's lost her firm and lost her profession. And people have been ripped off to some tune. So silly and ultimately criminal. RobH2O
  • Score: 46

5:32pm Thu 17 Apr 14

golazzo says...

Should have been sent down the lot of them. One law for one, one law for another.
Should have been sent down the lot of them. One law for one, one law for another. golazzo
  • Score: 67

5:33pm Thu 17 Apr 14

boynesider says...

why wasn't she prosecuted? lawyers looking out for each other?
why wasn't she prosecuted? lawyers looking out for each other? boynesider
  • Score: 53

5:41pm Thu 17 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

I've always been told. and thought solicitors were crooks nothing new here then
I've always been told. and thought solicitors were crooks nothing new here then ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 40

5:56pm Thu 17 Apr 14

andy1 says...

Will they also face criminal charges now? If not why not?
Will they also face criminal charges now? If not why not? andy1
  • Score: 48

8:32pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Truth will out says...

A shortfall of 418k. She pays back 32k. Does the Court calculator not work right?

I might not be a genius at maths but what happens to the other 386k?

Who says crime doesn't pay. Even if she is struck off she has plenty for a comfortable lifestyle now. Well done Judge.
A shortfall of 418k. She pays back 32k. Does the Court calculator not work right? I might not be a genius at maths but what happens to the other 386k? Who says crime doesn't pay. Even if she is struck off she has plenty for a comfortable lifestyle now. Well done Judge. Truth will out
  • Score: 51

11:13pm Thu 17 Apr 14

ikap22 says...

All the system is corrupt.
All the system is corrupt. ikap22
  • Score: 28

2:22am Fri 18 Apr 14

lovethebeach says...

We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.
We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal. lovethebeach
  • Score: 48

7:34am Fri 18 Apr 14

greenscreener says...

lovethebeach wrote:
We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.
The Law Society has a compensation fund that will make payments to people who have been the victims of dishonest solicitors. You should contact them directly.
[quote][p][bold]lovethebeach[/bold] wrote: We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.[/p][/quote]The Law Society has a compensation fund that will make payments to people who have been the victims of dishonest solicitors. You should contact them directly. greenscreener
  • Score: 34

8:38am Fri 18 Apr 14

oneinmillion says...

the system is wankered
the system is wankered oneinmillion
  • Score: 21

9:23am Fri 18 Apr 14

apple10 says...

"Where did you work? SFN? Wasn't that the firm that was thieving?"
How embarrassing Mrs Bridge and Ms Roach.
"Where did you work? SFN? Wasn't that the firm that was thieving?" How embarrassing Mrs Bridge and Ms Roach. apple10
  • Score: 24

10:14am Fri 18 Apr 14

Kaizersoze says...

I am so glad they have finally been caught, this goes RIGHT BACK to the Basil Dearing Days when he was under investigation but escaped. The law firm they worked for were corrupt then and are now. Kimberly and Nicola are crooks. I am owed a few thousand & i never could get it back. I knew the family since the 90's. They have brought shame for the rest of the their family.......
I am so glad they have finally been caught, this goes RIGHT BACK to the Basil Dearing Days when he was under investigation but escaped. The law firm they worked for were corrupt then and are now. Kimberly and Nicola are crooks. I am owed a few thousand & i never could get it back. I knew the family since the 90's. They have brought shame for the rest of the their family....... Kaizersoze
  • Score: 33

10:55am Fri 18 Apr 14

drunken donut says...

Like William Shakespeare said in Henry IV "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" he knew a thing or two old Billy.
Like William Shakespeare said in Henry IV "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" he knew a thing or two old Billy. drunken donut
  • Score: 29

11:12am Fri 18 Apr 14

ConcernedOssy says...

drunken donut wrote:
Like William Shakespeare said in Henry IV "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" he knew a thing or two old Billy.
Not sure it was Shakespeare but I'll bow to your supierior knowledge anyway very apt. ! !
[quote][p][bold]drunken donut[/bold] wrote: Like William Shakespeare said in Henry IV "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" he knew a thing or two old Billy.[/p][/quote]Not sure it was Shakespeare but I'll bow to your supierior knowledge anyway very apt. ! ! ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 22

3:01pm Fri 18 Apr 14

andy1 says...

Kaizersoze wrote:
I am so glad they have finally been caught, this goes RIGHT BACK to the Basil Dearing Days when he was under investigation but escaped. The law firm they worked for were corrupt then and are now. Kimberly and Nicola are crooks. I am owed a few thousand & i never could get it back. I knew the family since the 90's. They have brought shame for the rest of the their family.......
Now we know why all the scroats went to Basil Dearing.
[quote][p][bold]Kaizersoze[/bold] wrote: I am so glad they have finally been caught, this goes RIGHT BACK to the Basil Dearing Days when he was under investigation but escaped. The law firm they worked for were corrupt then and are now. Kimberly and Nicola are crooks. I am owed a few thousand & i never could get it back. I knew the family since the 90's. They have brought shame for the rest of the their family.......[/p][/quote]Now we know why all the scroats went to Basil Dearing. andy1
  • Score: 22

3:02pm Fri 18 Apr 14

lovethebeach says...

greenscreener wrote:
lovethebeach wrote:
We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.
The Law Society has a compensation fund that will make payments to people who have been the victims of dishonest solicitors. You should contact them directly.
Thank you. We have been working with the Solicitors Regulation Authority but she has made such a convoluted mess of it that we been told to pay a solicitor to straighten it out first. Then they will evaluate the case and decide whether we can get money out of the fund. We have found someone who will take the case for free--at first--but the complications are substantial, we have been told.
The aggravation seems endless and she has ruined our retirement as she has ruined other lives and businesses.
[quote][p][bold]greenscreener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lovethebeach[/bold] wrote: We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.[/p][/quote]The Law Society has a compensation fund that will make payments to people who have been the victims of dishonest solicitors. You should contact them directly.[/p][/quote]Thank you. We have been working with the Solicitors Regulation Authority but she has made such a convoluted mess of it that we been told to pay a solicitor to straighten it out first. Then they will evaluate the case and decide whether we can get money out of the fund. We have found someone who will take the case for free--at first--but the complications are substantial, we have been told. The aggravation seems endless and she has ruined our retirement as she has ruined other lives and businesses. lovethebeach
  • Score: 23

4:15pm Fri 18 Apr 14

midas says...

golazzo wrote:
Should have been sent down the lot of them. One law for one, one law for another.
As powerful as the SDT are I don't think they can send propel tp prison!
[quote][p][bold]golazzo[/bold] wrote: Should have been sent down the lot of them. One law for one, one law for another.[/p][/quote]As powerful as the SDT are I don't think they can send propel tp prison! midas
  • Score: 17

4:17pm Fri 18 Apr 14

midas says...

boynesider wrote:
why wasn't she prosecuted? lawyers looking out for each other?
This is just a punishment from the Solicitors regulatory body the criminal proceedings are still to come, so it is lawyers looking after themselves - she will get punished twice.
[quote][p][bold]boynesider[/bold] wrote: why wasn't she prosecuted? lawyers looking out for each other?[/p][/quote]This is just a punishment from the Solicitors regulatory body the criminal proceedings are still to come, so it is lawyers looking after themselves - she will get punished twice. midas
  • Score: 21

8:15pm Fri 18 Apr 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.
Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them. Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 11

1:15am Sat 19 Apr 14

Rumpole says...

lovethebeach wrote:
We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.
If you lost money because of this solicitor then you need to make a claim against the solicitors indemnity insurance for your losses.
Ask the SRA for your files and find a professional negligence solicitor to help you make a claim.
[quote][p][bold]lovethebeach[/bold] wrote: We have been fighting her for SIX years. Lies, lies, lies. Slams the phone down. I don't think we'll ever get our money. We are poor because of her; others are bankrupt yet SHE gets to walk free? Pay a fine? How about paying US? Pay the rest of the people you stole from. Go to jail. People like this do not care, she will just go on with her life but she has ruined so many other people's lives. I hope more will be done to this criminal.[/p][/quote]If you lost money because of this solicitor then you need to make a claim against the solicitors indemnity insurance for your losses. Ask the SRA for your files and find a professional negligence solicitor to help you make a claim. Rumpole
  • Score: 14

6:19pm Sat 19 Apr 14

midas says...

Lancs - pensioner wrote:
Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.
Sack them from what?
[quote][p][bold]Lancs - pensioner[/bold] wrote: Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.[/p][/quote]Sack them from what? midas
  • Score: -9

8:54pm Sat 19 Apr 14

zabby says...

So no jail time then unbelievable ,this is a fine example one law for the rich and one different law for everyone else
So no jail time then unbelievable ,this is a fine example one law for the rich and one different law for everyone else zabby
  • Score: 10

9:47pm Sat 19 Apr 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

midas wrote:
Lancs - pensioner wrote:
Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.
Sack them from what?
From trying to drag out court cases to get muggers murderers rapist illegal immigrants there "Human Rights" in other words a gravy train of money for all Lawyers and solicitors, all legal but look above to see what happens when they need an extra bob or two.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lancs - pensioner[/bold] wrote: Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.[/p][/quote]Sack them from what?[/p][/quote]From trying to drag out court cases to get muggers murderers rapist illegal immigrants there "Human Rights" in other words a gravy train of money for all Lawyers and solicitors, all legal but look above to see what happens when they need an extra bob or two. Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 6

6:34am Sun 20 Apr 14

apple10 says...

zabby wrote:
So no jail time then unbelievable ,this is a fine example one law for the rich and one different law for everyone else
The SDT have certain powers regarding disciplinary action. Police action is separate. Quite a few people would like to see Bridge and Roach jailed for all the misery and distress they have caused.
[quote][p][bold]zabby[/bold] wrote: So no jail time then unbelievable ,this is a fine example one law for the rich and one different law for everyone else[/p][/quote]The SDT have certain powers regarding disciplinary action. Police action is separate. Quite a few people would like to see Bridge and Roach jailed for all the misery and distress they have caused. apple10
  • Score: 9

3:28pm Sun 20 Apr 14

greenscreener says...

Lancs - pensioner wrote:
midas wrote:
Lancs - pensioner wrote:
Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.
Sack them from what?
From trying to drag out court cases to get muggers murderers rapist illegal immigrants there "Human Rights" in other words a gravy train of money for all Lawyers and solicitors, all legal but look above to see what happens when they need an extra bob or two.
Sounds like you were on the pop again last night LP, if you ever end up in court you might be glad of a Solicitor.
[quote][p][bold]Lancs - pensioner[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lancs - pensioner[/bold] wrote: Solicitors and Lawyers going on strike because the government was cutting there costs, Hmmmmmm all bent as one another!! Sack the lot of them.[/p][/quote]Sack them from what?[/p][/quote]From trying to drag out court cases to get muggers murderers rapist illegal immigrants there "Human Rights" in other words a gravy train of money for all Lawyers and solicitors, all legal but look above to see what happens when they need an extra bob or two.[/p][/quote]Sounds like you were on the pop again last night LP, if you ever end up in court you might be glad of a Solicitor. greenscreener
  • Score: -7

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