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SDT abuse decision overturned | SRA lawyer

In a High Court Decision published today, the SRA were roundly criticised in the manner of the presentation of their case before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. However, the decision to stay the case was overturned by Mrs Justice Thirwall DBE, who remitted part of the case back to be heard by a new tribunal.

In SRA v Kulwant Singh Manak and Rajbinder Kaur Dhillon, an appeal by the SRA was allowed against the decision of the SDT to dismiss as an abuse of process cases brought against five solicitors. The tribunal was not satisfied that any of the Respondents were able to understand the case that had been brought. The pleadings were difficult to follow, attempts at clarification were unsuccessful and as a result the case was incoherant. A fair trial was not possible and to continue with it would be an abuse of process.

The SRA appealed against the decision in two of the cases, but decided that it was not in the public interest to continue the proceedings against R3, R4 and R5, so those cases remain struck out on the grounds that there was an abuse of process.

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