Ebhogiaye v Solicitors Regulation Authority  All ER (D) 293 (Jul)
The solicitor and her daughter came before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and admitted a number of breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 and the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2004. She put forward mitigation which included the fact that she had suffered a significant period of ill health during which time she had had to conduct work from home. The determination of the disciplinary panel was that she should face a period of suspension and be made subject to a regime of conditions upon her return to work. The solicitor appealed on the basis that the imposition of those conditions was such as to render her unemployable and on the basis that the procedure followed had been flawed. She aregued that had she been forewarned that the Panel were minded to impose conditions specific representations could have been made as to reasonableness and proportionality.
The appeal failed nonetheless. The appeal court stated that there was no requirement that a panel should give an individual any indication of the likely sanction they had in mind. The imposition of conditions was there to ensure the protection of the public and the reputation of the profession and given the seriousness of the breaches they were entirely reasonable and fair in all the circumstances of this case.
News: the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal has created a User Group Committee which will act as a forum to encourage discussion and improvements in efficiency, consistency and cross-party case management issues.