Legal Ethics

Ex-managing partner of Nutter McClennen office suspended amid misappropriation allegations

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The former managing partner of a Nutter McClennen & Fish office in Massachusetts has been temporarily suspended amid allegations that he misappropriated funds from trust accounts and the law firm.

Matthew Bresette was temporarily suspended last month, report the American Lawyer, Reuters and Law360. Nutter McClennen says it notified clients after discovering the alleged theft and repaid the funds.

Bresette didn’t oppose the temporary suspension. The suspension petition says Bresette took funds from trusts in which he acted as trustee and from the law firm. The total amount of misappropriated funds had not yet been determined when the petition was filed on June 12.

Bresette had resigned from his firm in March and reported his misconduct to bar counsel in April. He had been managing partner of the firm’s office in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Nutter McClennen released a statement to the American Lawyer and Law360 that said it had launched an investigation of Bresette after identifying “an impropriety involving a payment requested by Mr. Bresette out of a fiduciary account for which he was responsible.”

The law firm “identified additional improper payments, and demanded his immediate resignation. Impacted clients and beneficiaries were notified and the firm made prompt restitution based on our audit results,” according to the statement by Nutter McClennen managing partner Deb Manus. An outside forensic accounting firm is conducting an ongoing, independent review.

“Nutter takes the confidence clients place in us extremely seriously,” the statement said. “What occurred runs counter to the firm’s nearly 140-year history of serving clients honorably.”

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