High Court asks SRA to consider firm’s fitness to practise after contempt ruling


High Court: SRA asked to investigate urgently

The incoming Lord Chief Justice has asked the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to consider a law firm’s continuing fitness to practise having found its senior partner in contempt of court.

The highly unusual request by Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division ahead of his elevation to Lord Chief Justice, and Mr Justice Cranston followed a hearing on Monday that related to emergency, out-of-hours applications to High Court judges for injunctions to stop deportations.

At the hearing, the court sought explanations from Benny Thomas, described as principal solicitor and senior partner of east London-based Consilium Chambers, over the firm’s “failure to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules in the submission on the claim; and/or their reasons for lodging claims that amount to a clear abuse of process; and/or their reasons for misstating their client’s position on papers and to decide whether [he] should be committed for his contempt of court”.

Having taken evidence from Mr Thomas and a caseworker at the firm, the court decided that Mr Thomas was guilty of contempt but determined not to take further action in light of the decision to refer him to the SRA.

It invited the SRA to conduct an “urgent investigation into the firm” and to consider in particular “the firm’s continuing fitness to practise [and] the court’s findings from today’s hearing in relation to the untruthfulness of evidence given by Mr B Thomas to this court and decide what action to take”.

The Judicial Office said that while a transcript of the case is not yet available, the court was “keen for this information to be disseminated”.

According to the Law Society’s ‘Find a solicitor’ website, Consilium Chambers has two partners, with two further solicitors listed as consultants.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog


Planning your office for the next generation

We strongly believe lawyers now and in the future will want and value a space that’s not their home to work from and, most importantly, a space to connect and collaborate with colleagues and clients.


Why lawyers should be thinking about sustainable development

The UN Sustainable Development Goals have been permeating all aspects of the legal profession – from their impact on everyday clients, to their relevance for big businesses.


Fundamental business habits that modern law firms need to succeed

Regardless of your goals, running a successful law firm involves mastering the basics and adopting habits that help you remain competitive.


Loading animation