Leading medical negligence solicitor accused of stealing £700k from clients
Marcus Nickson a former partner with KJ Commons & Co, a law firm that had offices in both Workington and Carlisle before its closure in 2014. The closure followed the death of its founder Kevin Commons in 2010, which was a complete tragedy. Nickson had left the firm three years after the death of his friend and founder Kevin. Prior to the closure, Marcus Nickson had been a very successful lawyer with more than 30 years of experience and is well known specifically for his numerous litigation cases for medical negligence.
He is a 66-year-old man from Blencogo; a small village on the Solway Plain near Allerdale Borough Council area in the Cumbria county. He currently faces five allegations two are fraud related and the remaining three are based on theft. He’s been accused of stealing over £700k from clients. Two victims of this alleged theft were clients he defended; these were cases of medical negligence being looked at medical negligence solicitors.
One of the cases had to do with a baby that suffered from a brain damage due to avoidable causes, he won the case and a trust fund of about £3.5M was set up for her care. She finally passed on at the age of 12. Nickson illegally collected over £100k from the fund, the other case was about a man who had an undetected stroke which now leaves him unable to take care of himself for the rest of his life. He was also paid some form of compensation to ensure that he gets the best possible care. The compensation was £3M, in which Nickson illegally collected over £600k as well.
These were uncovered after David Dawson took over as the head of the department in charge of clinical negligence and personal injury related cases. After reviewing the files of some cases handled by Nickson, he was compelled to file in a report immediately with the police. Following this report in December 2017 Nickson was then charged with theft. He later on was also charged with fraud, due to alleged falsification of court documents, cost schedules, invoices, etc. and provision of false or misleading information aimed at deceiving the clients.
Nickson was first arraigned in the Lancaster Magistrate’s Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge on fraud and falsification of document. The case was thereafter moved to the Preston Crown Court following the magistrate’s directive that his court couldn’t handle a case of that nature.
However, on the 7th of November 2018, Nickson pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of fraud in the Princeton Crown Court. He has officially admitted to stealing more than £700k from the compensation costs awarded to his clients, including legal fees and other claims he had made. His trial would resume in December 2018, and it is expected that he will be spending some years in prison for his devious acts. He had betrayed the trust his clients had put in him and exploited their ignorance though lies and manipulation.