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. .


peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam