Suspended Leitrim solicitor Orla Ellis hit with €5k Revenue bill

An internal Law Society disciplinary committee found Ellis had been “dishonest in her practice as a solicitor”.

Orla Ellis

Patrick O'Connell

A suspended Co. Leitrim solicitor, who is under investigation by the Law Society for running up a deficit of €560,000 in her client accounts, has now been hit with a separate €5,800 bill by Revenue.

Orla Ellis, daughter of ex-Fianna Fáil TD John Ellis, had the judgement registered against her by the Collector General on May 11.

The exact sum of the judgement against Ellis, who secured a job with the Department of Social Protection in the wake of being suspended from practice by the High Court in August of last year, is for €5,833.

Several probes into the actions within Ellis’s law firm ‘Ellis & Co’ are ongoing.

Earlier this year, it emerged an internal Law Society disciplinary committee found Ellis had been “dishonest in her practice as a solicitor”.

This “dishonesty” caused a deficit in client funds where a number of elderly clients or the estates of dead people had been overcharged.

An affidavit from a Law Society investigator, obtained by the Sunday Independent, said there was an acknowledged practice of “teeming and lading”, a form of bookkeeping fraud, by Ellis and she had accepted the contents of his critical report on her firm.

The Law Society investigation found large bequests left by clients of Ellis to charities such as the Salvation Army and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind had not been paid as instructed to Ellis.

The Irish Guides Dogs for the Blind later said it was probing the contents of the affidavit to find out if the charity had been affected.

We approached the now suspended solicitor at her home in Fenagh, Co. Leitrim in an early April in an effort to have her address the findings. “No, I don’t want to talk to you,” she told out reporter after we approached her.

Then, citing personal health difficulties, she continued: “I just can’t deal with any of this anymore. “My replying affidavit is only going in this week.”​

Following an investigation by the Law Society and prior to a hearing about her activities,

a solicitor representing Ellis said she wanted to have her name removed from the roll of solicitors and she accepted the investigation report “in full”.

Ellis was “not in a position to deal with the deficit in client funds” and was receiving medical help. Mr Costello said the committee determined that Ellis had been “dishonest in her practice as a solicitor” and this “dishonesty” caused the deficit in client funds.

The suspension of Ellis was confirmed by the High Court on August 18th by Judge Garrett Simmons.

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