Letter: Justice for lawyers

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The Independent Culture
Justice for lawyers

Sir: Your scary headline "Convicted solicitors free to practise" (2 December) does not tell the full story. The implication of your piece is that solicitors somehow protect each other when they get into trouble.

Professional rules quite rightly make the protection of clients' money sacrosanct. In my experience, it is safe to assume that dishonesty by a solicitor will be punished by a strike-off.

There are lots of other professional offences involving money, which fall short of dishonesty. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal will punish those according to their seriousness and the circumstances of the offender. Accounting errors, late or unpaid debts and financial incompetence may be punished in a variety of ways.

It would be an injustice if the tribunal did not show mercy to solicitors who can demonstrate valued work for the community and who have got into honest difficulty because of personal or business problems.

ANDREW LOCKLEY

Irwin Mitchell Solicitors

Sheffield

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