EXCLUSIVE: Legal executive at Fenland law firm quizzed over missing money

PUBLISHED: 16:26 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:25 02 June 2010

Phillip Nightingale

Phillip Nightingale

EXCLUSIVE By MAGGIE GIBSON A LEGAL executive who took early retirement three years ago is at the centre of a police investigation into hundreds of thousands of pounds of missing money. Phillip Nightingale moved to Spain after leaving the Fenland firm of B

EXCLUSIVE

By MAGGIE GIBSON

A LEGAL executive who took early retirement three years ago is at the centre of a police investigation into hundreds of thousands of pounds of missing money.

Phillip Nightingale moved to Spain after leaving the Fenland firm of Bowser Ollard and Bentley but has now returned to England following the police inquiry.

Colleagues are said to be shocked by the investigation since many of them turned up at the Griffin Hotel, March, to wish him well for his retirement.

"I worked with him for over 20 years and find what is happening surprising to say the least," said a former colleague.

Mr Nightingale is on police bail following his arrest over what is believed to be the misappropriation of a six figure sum of clients' money before his retirement from Bowser Ollard & Bentley in 2005.

Another former colleague said the law firm was full of rumour about what has happened and he understood that Mr Nightingale voluntarily went to a police station to make a statement.

Brian Bowser, the senior partner at the law practice, said: "I am fully aware that the police are conducting an investigation and for three months my firm has been doing some careful checks and investigating all our records."

The Solicitors Regulation Authority is also aware of the investigation but officials are expected to allow the police to proceed with a criminal prosecution before following on with its own investigation. Mr Nightingale is expected to be formally charged in the near future.

Mr Nightingale who previously lived in Cavalry Drive, and The Shires in March with his wife Sue and three children, retired in 2005. The couple moved to Spain but have recently been living in Buckinghamshire with a family member.

He began working for Ollard & Bentley in 1979 and was employed as a conveyancer and executive after the merger with Bowsers in 2001.

Mr Nightingale worked at the March office of Bowser Ollard & Bentley: the firm also has an office in South Brink, Wisbech.


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