SDT clears ex-Law Society president Greene after private prosecution

Greene: Drawing a line under the saga

Leading litigator David Greene was yesterday cleared of wrongdoing by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) as the long-running saga that saw him resign as Law Society president neared an end.

Businessman David Davies, who brought the rare private prosecution, has the right to appeal the decision, the full reasons for which will be published in the coming weeks.

The case dates back to events in 2008 and litigation in 2012. It led to Mr Greene resigning as president in March 2021, part way through his year of office.

In a statement, Mr Greene said: “It is naturally hugely gratifying to have the finding of the SDT, following a full examination in a full hearing over days.

“Previously the SRA rejected the complaint three times, the SDT twice and the police once. This complaint was given new life by the Divisional Court but rightly the SDT have rejected it again after hearing the facts. It has always been unfounded and now the SDT has confirmed that.

“As mentioned to the tribunal, I am simply pleased to draw a line under the whole 10-year episode and move on – there is much work as a practitioner yet to be done.”

The senior partner of London firm Edwin Coe has been in dispute with Mr Davies over unpaid fees; the former client accused him of misleading District Judge Stewart in Winchester as part of this.

Mr Davies brought the private prosecution but in September 2019 the SDT concluded that his complaint was groundless.

However, in January 2021, the High Court ruled that the SDT’s decision was flawed both in its analysis of abuse of process and by not properly examining the merits of the case.

Though the court found that Mr Greene has a case to answer, it stressed that it was not judging whether he misled the judge.

Then earlier this year, Court of Appeal refused his bid to overturn the High Court ruling, deciding that Mr Davies’s complaint was wider than the question of whether the district judge was misled in 2012. In another ruling in 2016, DJ Stewart said he was not misled.

The Court of Appeal said the lapse of time in the case was “in part attributable to efforts on the part of, first, Edwin Coe and, latterly, Mr Greene himself to stave off Mr Davies’ allegations”.

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