The Law Society’s regulatory arm has managed to stave off a High Court challenge by Edward Ellis, the name partner of Folkestone based firm Ellis & Jessup.
Ellis brought proceedings against the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) after its tribunal held that he had not reached the standard that his client, FM, could reasonably expect in relation to dealings with her mother’s estate in 2002.
The tribunal directed that Ellis pay the client £2,000 in compensation, in addition to limiting the costs owed by the estate.
Ellis challenged the ruling, stating in a letter dated 8 June 2005: “The decision to make consumer complaints a legal process was not reasonable by objective standards.”
However, after the Law Society adjudicator upheld the tribunal’s ruling, Ellis sought to bring a judicial review of the case, challenging the integrity of The Law Society to force him to compensate his client.
Ellis issued a 35-page document, entitled “The balance of the constitution of England and Wales”, outlining his complaint and raising a series of allegations of corruption against the judiciary.
But Lord Justice Leveson held that these arguments were “wholly incomprehensible” and refused the case any further appeals.
When asked to produce evidence to substantiate his claims by Judge Bennett in December 2005, Ellis failed to produce any documentation. Having failed to compensate his client, the Law Society referred Ellis’s case to its Interventions and Disciplinary Unit for further investigation.
In Leveson LJ’s damning judgment, he held that the unit found that Ellis’s actions brought the legal profession into disrepute. This observation was also supported by Mr Justice Lloyd Jones. This resulted in the High Court appeal being dismissed.
Ellis represented himself, while the Law Society’s regulatory arm the SRA instructed solicitor – advocate Iain Miller of Bevan Brittan.