In brief: Desperately seeking former solicitor

The High Court in London has granted unprecedented leave to serve a notice of bankruptcy petition against an untraceable former solicitor, by advertisement in the legal press. The action brought against William Relton, former head of William Relton & Co, relates to unpaid fees to legal recruitment consultancy Charles Fellowes Partnership. The notice has been placed in The Lawyer by the company. Martyn Libberson, of Birmingham firm Lee Crowder, said: “It is very unusual to get an order for substituted service against anyone, but I have never heard of one being served against a solicitor in this way.” Anthony Tomkins, head of Charles Fellowes, said that he had pursued the matter as “a point of principle”. Relton does not currently hold a practising certificate and his firm closed down following intervention by the Law Society in April 1996.