A SOLICITOR has failed in his bid to have a former partner committed to jail following a row over the alleged poaching of clients.

Paul Rooney, senior partner at Liverpool firm Paul Rooney & Co, had accused his former colleague, Mike Hogan, of breaching an interlocutory injunction binding him to a partnership agreement preventing him from soliciting the firm's clients.

But, at Liverpool High Court last week, Mrs Justice Ebsworth rejected the application.

She pointed out that it had been brought by summons instead of by way of motion and that it had also failed to set out the particulars supporting the applications.

“I think that is surprising,” she said.

Judge Ebsworth did, however, continue the injunction binding Hogan to a partnership agreement forged while he was at the firm until a dispute over the agreement could be tried early next year.

The court heard that after Hogan had left Rooneys in May, he wrote to 35 clients telling them that he had moved to another Liverpool firm, Paul Crowley & Co, and added that he would be pleased to act for them.

A clause in his contract stated that he could not solicit any clients of the partnership and, for 12 months, could not accept instructions from any client of the partnership if he was working within a 10-mile radius of the firm.