SRA bankrupts Blacker over unpaid costs

Blacker: Unsuccessfully appealed two tribunal rulings

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has made struck-off solicitor Alan Blacker bankrupt over unpaid costs.

Mr Blacker gained a measure of notoriety for using the title ‘Lord Harley’ and claiming a huge number of honours and achievements on his LinkedIn profile.

However, in August 2016, he was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £86,000 in costs.

He was found in breach of various accounts rules, publishing “inaccurate and misleading” academic qualifications, appointments, accreditations and titles, and failing to co-operate with the SRA. In relation to the misleading statements, he was found to have acted dishonestly.

A separate tribunal then refused Mr Blacker’s application for a rehearing, finding medical evidence he had supplied to explain the reason he had not attended the original hearing “insufficiently detailed and unconvincing”. It ordered that he pay a further £7,500 in costs.

Mr Blacker appealed both decisions to the High Court, but they were dismissed with costs in January 2017.

He was made bankrupt on the SRA’s petition last month.

An SRA spokesman would not comment on the specifics of the case, but said: “We are committed to using the profession’s money efficiently, and that includes recovering costs where appropriate.

“When we are recovering costs, we aim to take a fair and pragmatic approach, tailored to the circumstances of each individual. Petitioning for bankruptcy can help us properly establish someone’s assets through an independent trustee.”

The records of the London Gazette indicate that the SRA has taken this step with 16 other solicitors over the past two years.

Mr Blacker was admitted to the roll of solicitors in May 2010. He held himself out to be an in-house solicitor at the Joint Armed Forces Legal Advocacy Service (JAFLAS), a charity he had set up in Rochdale and which was regulated by the Charities Commission.

He was the sole solicitor engaged in JAFLAS’s work, and nobody else worked at the charity.

He went by the style of ‘Dr Alan Blacker & Co’, ‘In House Lawyers of the Joint Armed Forces Legal Advocacy Service’ and ‘Chambers of the Rt Hon The Lord Harley, Senior Counsel”.

Mr Blacker claims that he holds an Irish peerage dating back to the 17th century.

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