A High Court judge has described how locks were changed and the police were called in an extraordinary stand-off over the ownership of a law firm. The case also raised questions about the extent of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s intervention powers.
The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has proposed that it should be given, for the first time, the power to intervene in barristers’ practices and chambers. It also wants new powers on fines and setting up a compensation fund.
The High Court has backed an application by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to destroy millions of documents seized from firms it has intervened in and had to store since, at significant cost to the profession.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority closed three law firms in London and Essex in just two days last week, giving suspected dishonesty as a reason for each separate intervention.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is to investigate the likely impact of criminal legal aid fee cuts on the viability of law firms amid warnings that the cost to the profession of collapses could spiral.