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Second appeal successful in solicitor's misconduct hearing case

15 March 2010

Law Society v Salsbury [2009] 2 All ER 487

Our team was successful in having permission for a second appeal granted by the Court of Appeal. The misconduct hearing had previously been heard in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal where the SDT found the Respondent guilty of dishonest conduct and ordered that he be struck from the Roll.

The Respondent appealed to the Administrative Court of the High Court who, whilst not overruling the Tribunal’s findings substituted the order of a strike off for one of three years suspension. The Law Society appealed that decision.

The Court of Appeal allowed the Law Society’s appeal and in doing so held that the principles set out by Bingham MR in Bolton v Law Society were still good law post HRA. The Court re-instated the order of the Tribunal, striking off the Solicitor and in doing so re-affirmed the deference which the court must pay to specialist Tribunals.

Lord Justice Jackson stated that courts should be slow to infer with the decisions of a tribunal only doing so where the decision reached was "clearly inappropriate".