A disciplinary tribunal has struck off a Coleraine solicitor who was declared bankrupt last year, The Coleraine Times can exclusively reveal.
A solicitor for over 30 years, Samuel Blair Crossey (70) ran two legal practices in the town until he got into severe financial difficulties, running up debts of over £2.1m.
A Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal confirmed on November 23 that it had “held an enquiry into applications made by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and having found the allegations contained in the affidavits of the applicant to have been substantiated, ordered that the name of Samuel Blair Crossey formerly practising as Anderson & Co Solicitors, 17 New Row, Coleraine, and as Blair Crossey & Co, 2 & 4 Dunmore Street, Coleraine, be struck-off the Roll of Solicitors in Northern Ireland.”
A spokesperson for the Law Society of Northern Ireland said: “The Law Society can confirm that the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that Samuel Blair Crossey’s name be struck off the Roll of Solicitors. This may be subject to an appeal by Mr Crossey”.
Mr Crossey, from Springmount Road, Glarryford, near Ballymena, now lives in Bangor.
A spokeperson for the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment, said: “Samuel Blair Crossey was adjudged bankrupt on 5th November 2014 upon the petition of HM Revenue & Customs. The Official Receiver is the Trustee of the bankruptcy estate. A Report to Creditors was issued on 1st September 2015.”
The report, which has been seen by The Coleraine Times, showed that Mr Crossey’s total debt was £2,169,157. The bulk of the liabilities were loans to the value of £1,801,481.
It is stated in the report that Mr Crossey attributed his bankruptcy to “losing his ability to practice as a solicitor as a result of a Law Society intervention in both his practices and to property investments which failed to materialise following the downturn in the property market.”
He also stated that “the acquisition of Anderson and Co Solicitors in 2012 was at too high a price” and he cited this as “a contributory factor.”
Mr Crossey worked as a solicitor from 1981 until April 2014 when a Law Society intervention in both his solicitors practices took place.
The Coleraine Times were unable to reach Mr Crossey for comment despite several telephone calls to his home.