Stewarts Law partner struck off after private prosecution

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  • I would expect it is a simple case of proving some dishonesty over his conduct re that previous matter. The dishonesty threshold requiring a striking off is a low one, and it's a case of there but for the grace of God go I, as most solicitors would in my view breach this threshold at least once in their career.

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  • Reading [2010] EWHC 1864 (Ch) does not reveal any dishonesty - at most some oversights and the presentation of some evidence in a slightly partial manner. Perhaps the solution would be to have an impartial figure, say a judge, review the evidence before granting an ex-parte freezing order.

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  • The issue here is that there is minimal detail, thanks to the SDT draconian approach to rulings. If the High Court were to take seven weeks to publish reasonings after the case is heard there would be uproar. Here we have a tribunal which, apparently, has the right to hear private prosecutions as if it were a civil court but i not under the same obligation to publish the details of its reasoning. Any attempt to contact the tribunal is met with a staunch rebuff. Surely Shaw will be unable to challenge anything the SDT decides until he has seen its reasoning. Will he be made to wait another seven weeks, time that could be extremely damaging to ones repuatation?

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  • I largely agree Concerned.com but would it really be better for the SDT's findings to be in the public domain while they are potentially subject to an appeal?

    Perhaps it would be better to quietly suspend the person concerned pending appeal particularly where, as in this case, the solicitor sits within a substantial firm and there is no possible risk to the public.

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  • It is staggering that the judge who heard the original proceedings made no observation as to the case's conduct yet the SDT - one of whose members is a lay person, the other a country solicitor - should have the power to hear strike off proceedings, decide on them and delay the issue of its reasoning. Mr Shaw was represented by Mayer Brown and by a silk and he deserves a better hearing in front of a proper judicial panel. I have no doubt Stewarts will get their partner back, he is a reputable practitioner in a highly professional firm. I fear no good will come to Mr Logue as a result of this as well, it may prove to be an expensive and ultimately fruitless exercise for him.

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  • This could be a dangerous precedent, as it signals that the very rich have a simple and very effective way to bully solicitors into submission.

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  • If anything it shows that a solicitor cannot help acting in his client's best interests and this obligation (which he fell foul of) to give full and frank disclosure of any weakesnesses in a client's application for a freezing injunction runs contrary to our training and instinct.

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  • It is very interesting to see how easily a private prosecution in the SDT can succeed when those very high standards of conduct that apply to all solicitors are tested against a respected individual at a large reputable firm (which does not normally happen, as the SRA is of course reluctant to apply those very high standards of conduct to large firms and they much prefer to pick on defenceless small firms).

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  • I was somewhat bemused by 'Anonymous | 19-Feb-2013 7:26 pm' reference to a 'Country Solicitor'. Is this a new form of lawyer or just a derogotary comment in general about solicitors who do not practice in the city and are therefore incapable of understanding what a probably quite complex issues. Also where does the 'Country' start ? I'm intrigued to know!!

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  • This appears to be a very harsh decision, especially when one considers that the decision was not stayed pending the appeal which will undoubtedly follow. I have worked with Andrew Shaw in the past, indeed we were partners at Manches, and know him to be a very likeable, highly competent and professional lawyer, who has the benefit of an unblemished reputation. Whilst Andrew was criticised in the judgment, there were no allegations of dishonesty and indeed his apologies were accepted by the judge. It seems to me that any dispute between Andrew and the complainant in relation to any alleged loss or damage suffered by the latter ought properly to have been determined by a civil tribunal. My thoughts go out to him and his partners at this difficult time.

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