Law Report: Solicitor's tribunal appeal barred: Re a Solicitor. Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Nourse, Lord Justice Beldam and Lord Justice Simon Brown). 27 April 1994

The High Court's jurisdiction to hear an appeal from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, under section 49(1)(b) of the Solicitors Act 1974, only applied to a formal and final order; it did not cover interlocutory rulings.

The Court of Appeal refused a solicitor's application for leave to appeal out of time against an order of the Queen's Bench Divisional Court, on 16 March 1993, dismissing his motion to appeal against the refusal of a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, on 15 October 1992, to dismiss disciplinary proceedings against him.

Richard Gordon QC (Arnold Rosen & Co) for the solicitor; Richard Nussey (Percy Hughes & Roberts, Birkenhead) for the Law Society.

LORD JUSTICE SIMON BROWN said the solicitor faced six allegations of conduct unbefitting a solicitor and one of failing to comply with the Solicitors Accounts Rules. Taken together, they presented a case of the utmost gravity against him.

Before the tribunal, he contended that the proceedings should be dismissed because he had been 'irrevocably prejudiced' by the disclosure, at an earlier pre- trial review, of three matters, namely: (i) that he had been the subject of previous disciplinary proceedings before the tribunal, in respect of which a 'findings and order' had been promulgated; (ii) that he had been adjudged bankrupt; and (iii) that the Law Society had intervened in his practice.

The tribunal took the view that (ii) and (iii) were matters of public record of which it could properly be told.

As to (i), they said they would tell their clerk to list the matter before a fresh division of the tribunal which had not heard about it.

The applicant issued a notice of originating motion seeking to appeal against the tribunal's refusal to dismiss the disciplinary proceedings.

The Divisional Court dismissed that motion on the grounds that it had no jurisdiction, under section 49 of the 1974 Act, to hear an appeal from a tribunal which had discharged itself, while another tribunal had been convened which had yet to commence its inquiry.

Section 49(1) of the 1974 Act provided: 'An appeal from the tribunal shall lie (a) in the case of an order on an application under section 43(3) or 47(1)(d), (e) or (f) or the refusal of any such application, to the Master of the Rolls; (b) in any other case, to the High Court.'

The applicant argued that, save for those specific orders of the tribunal from which appeals were expressly reserved to the Master of the Rolls, 'in any other case' an appeal from the tribunal lay to the High Court; and this was such another case.

However, his Lordship agreed with the Law Society that, having regard to the 1974 Act as a whole and to the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 1985 (SI 226), interlocutory rulings of the kind here in question were simply not within the ambit of section 49 at all.

Rather, for a tribunal decision to be appealable, it must be an order properly so called, made under one of the sections expressly providing for such orders and attracting the formal requirements of section 48.

The reference in section 49(1)(b) to 'any other case' plainly meant 'in the case of any other order'.

It followed that the solicitor had no right of appeal whatever against the tribunal's determination on 15 October 1992 that the disciplinary proceedings against him should proceed to a hearing.

Finally, even if he had been of a different view on the jurisdictional issue, his Lordship would still have been strongly disposed to refuse the necessary extension of time for leave to appeal, since the delay in applying for it was both unacceptable and wholly inadequately explained. It was high time the complaints against this solicitor be heard. .

LORD JUSTICE NOURSE and LORD JUSTICE BELDAM agreed.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior IP Opportunity at Major Firm

vary Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - AN OPENING AT A VERY HIGH Q...

Nursery Manager

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes