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A firm of attorneys received instructions from a new client. The client made a direct deposit into their bank account and instructed them to deduct their fees from the amount and pay the excess amount to the client's account. The deposit was cleared by the Bank and the attorneys deducted their fees and paid the balance to the client as instructed. It turned out that the cheque deposited by the client was a stolen cheque. The true owner of the cheque sued the attorneys on the grounds that they possessed the cheque and received value for it. The attorneys denied liability arguing that they never even saw the cheque as it was deposited direct into their account and was cleared by the bank. It never even came into their hands. The Appeal Court ruled against the attorneys saying that the bank possessed the cheque on their behalf. The lesson to be learnt is that you must not pay out on a deposit even if it is cleared by the bank unless you are satisfied that the deposit is not a stolen cheque.