Letter: Law Society bar

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The claim made by Channel Four in its publicity material for a forthcoming Dispatches programme, reported by The Independent ("Convicted solicitors free to practise", 2 December), that the Law Society has failed to strike off solicitors who are convicted of criminal offences is factually wrong.

The Law Society cannot be criticised for failing to strike off these solicitors. We energetically prosecute solicitors who break the law before the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, but the decision to strike off is a decision for the tribunal alone. The SDT is independent of the Law Society, and its members are appointed by the Master of the Rolls.

Indeed, the Law Society has successfully appealed to the High Court against tribunal decisions when it has passed a too lenient sentence on a solicitor, leading to solicitors being struck off. The most recent case was just a month ago.

MICHAEL MATHEWS

President

The Law Society,

London WC2

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