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English Court carries through on threat to name and shame lawyers

Publication: 
Editorial Staff
chiefofficersnet

The English High Court has named four solicitors who have fallen foul of the Court's requirements when issuing immigration appeals.

IN a case with the complicated name of
THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF AWUKU
THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF N
THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF MURUGESAPILLAI
THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF HAMID
Applicants
v
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT Respondent

(Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWHC 3298 (Admin))

heard before the President of the Queen's Bench Division, Sir John Thomas and Cranston, J on 16th November has given effect to the Order made in Hamid to publicly name solicitors who have failed to comply with the Directions of the Court when issuing proceedings relating to an immigration appeal.

When making the earlier order in Hamid, the Court said that it would not, in that case, name the solicitor concerned because he had apologised and appeared to be unaware of the detail of the Practice Direction. However, said the Court in the instant case, "an application was made again to this court on virtually the same points. However the application contained no disclosure whatsoever of the previous application and its failure. There was without any doubt a gross breach of the obligation of disclosure that arises on an ex parte application. " The solicitor was named as MQ Hassan. Again, he apologised, saying that his firm was "tightening up its procedures."that the appropriate course of action to take in this case is for Mr Hassan to report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority what steps he is taking to ensure that all those who work in his firm are properly trained in particular in the obligation incumbent upon a solicitor to make full and proper disclosure of all material facts to the courts. The court will communicate itself with the Solicitors Regulation Authority to say that it has required that. " The Court said that if there are further problems involving Hassan, it will refer the matter to the SRA for disciplinary proceedings.

In relation to the case of Murugesapillai, the court said "It is clear to us, and is accepted by the solicitors, that there had been the most serious non-disclosure to this court. An apology has been tendered. Furthermore, the new form was not properly filled in and did not make clear to the judge why there were reasons for urgency. As this is the second, and I hope this time the last, occasion upon which this court will have to sit in this way, we will not refer the solicitor concerned to the Solicitors Regulation Authority but we mark the case as one where there has been a grave non-disclosure and a failure to comply with the rules of court. " Miss Kezia Tobin, instructed by S Satha Solicitors, appeared on behalf of the claimant.

In the case of N, the Court said "when an application was made on an ex parte basis for the staying of the removal, there was non-disclosure. It is accepted there was, and an apology has been made. There was nothing in the submission that was made to the judge to the effect that the application before the Immigration Judge had failed because N's evidence was not credible, that the application was being made because there was fresh evidence, and drawing to the judge's attention in the submission the fact that the Secretary of State had stated that the three documents relied on had been before the Immigration Judge and that the other document was inconsistent and was not verifiable. The application should then have dealt with those matters. "

However, the Court did not name the solicitors involved.

The case of Awuku was adjourned for further investigation.

Report: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases...