||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 299 (May)
||Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court (London)
Collins J (judgment delivered extempore)
||Robert Trevis (acting pro bono) for the appellant.
||Edward Levey (instructed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority) for the respondent.
||17 May 2013
Solicitor - Disciplinary proceedings - Appeal - Solicitor fined for breaching code of conduct - Solicitor contending sanction excessive - Solicitor agreeing to pay £16,000 costs - Solicitor fined £5,000 - Solicitor suffering substantial hardship - Whether tribunal had given sufficient reasons - Whether fine was appropriate sanction - Whether tribunal had considered means - Whether means were relevant to overall liability - Whether overall liability should be reduced.
Solicitor Disciplinary proceedings. The appellant had been found guilty of breaching the solicitors' code of conduct. Before the tribunal, he had agreed to pay costs of 16,000 and was subsequently fined 5,000. The solicitor appealed, contending that the sanction had been excessive. The Administrative Court found that the tribunal's reasons had been lacking and found that it was apparent that it had failed to take into account means when considering overall financial liability. Although the tribunal had been entitled to find that a fine was warranted, in circumstances where there was substantial mitigation, the magnitude of the fine had been excessive. Overall financial liability would be reduced from 21,000 to 5,000 comprising a fine of 500 and costs of 4,500.
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