A former solicitor is being sued by a number of charities that were left money by her clients.

A court ruling published this week revealed that two claims had been brought against Linda Box, who was formerly senior partner at 200-year-old Yorkshire firm Dixon Coles and Gill.

Box was jailed for seven years in 2017 after admitting 12 offences of fraud, theft and forgery and was ultimately struck off the professional register. Reports at the time stated that, over the course of 12 years, she stole in excess of £4m mainly from estates to spend on holidays, designer clothes and a vintage wine collection.

Four charities, the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Yorkshire Cancer Research, British Heart Foundation and the National Trust, now allege Box stole money that was rightly theirs from the estate of retired fire officer Ernest Scholefield.

The Legal Futures website reports that, according to the High Court ruling, the charities are suing Box, former partner Julian Gill, the firm and insurer HDI Global Specialty SE. The judge, his Honour Judge Saffman, stressed that Mr Gill was unaware of Box’s criminal activities and there is no suggestion that he acted dishonestly in the course of the business of the firm.

The judge added: “The insurer asserts that Mrs Box’s modus operandi was a process known as ‘teeming and lading’, by which monies are transferred to and from the firm’s client account ledgers, presumably in much the same way as a Ponzi scheme operates.

A separate claim is being brought by the Bishop of Leeds on behalf of a number of Church of England organisations and charities that state they have suffered significant loss as a result of Box’s criminal activities in her professional capacity.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority shut down Box’s former firm in April 2016 following her two partners uncovering the fraud.