Legal Services Regulation Act 2015

85.

Consideration of matter by High Court where referred by Disciplinary Tribunal

85.  (1) Where the Disciplinary Tribunal makes a recommendation to the High Court under section 82(2) and the legal practitioner concerned appeals in accordance with section 83(3) against the determination of misconduct, the Court shall first determine the appeal.

(2) In an appeal under section 83(3) , the High Court may—

(a) confirm the determination of the Disciplinary Tribunal, or

(b) determine that the act or omission the subject of the inquiry does not constitute misconduct.

(3) Where—

(a) the legal practitioner concerned does not appeal under section 83(3) the determination of the Disciplinary Tribunal,

(b) the High Court confirms under subsection (2) the determination of the Disciplinary Tribunal, or

(c) the High Court makes a decision referred to in subsection (3)(b)(ii) or (5)(c) of section 84 ,

the Court shall, having considered (where applicable) the recommendation of the Disciplinary Tribunal under section 82(2) and given each party who was a party participating in the inquiry of the Disciplinary Tribunal an opportunity to appear to make submissions in connection with the matter, decide upon the sanction to be imposed on the legal practitioner.

(4) The sanction referred to in subsection (3) may be—

(a) one or more of the sanctions which the Disciplinary Tribunal could impose under section 82(1) , or

(b) the making of an order under subsection (7).

(5) Before imposing a sanction under subsection (3), the High Court may, if it thinks fit, remit the case to the Disciplinary Tribunal to take further evidence for submission to it and to make a supplementary report, and the Court may adjourn the hearing of the matter pending the submission to it of such further evidence and the making of such supplementary report.

(6) In imposing a sanction under subsection (3), the High Court shall take account of any finding of misconduct on the part of the legal practitioner concerned previously made by the Disciplinary Tribunal and not rescinded by the Court and of any order made by the Court under this Act or under the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015.

(7) The Court, under this subsection, may by order direct one or more than one of the following:

(a) that the legal practitioner be censured or that he or she be censured and required to pay an amount of money to the Authority or, in the case of a legal practitioner who is a solicitor, to the Compensation Fund, as the Court considers appropriate;

(b) that the legal practitioner be restricted as to the type of work which he or she may engage in, for such period as the Court considers appropriate and subject to such terms and conditions as the Court considers appropriate;

(c) that the legal practitioner be prohibited from practising as a legal practitioner otherwise than as an employee, and subject to such terms and conditions as the Court considers appropriate;

(d) that the legal practitioner be suspended from practice as a legal practitioner for a specified period and subject to such terms and conditions as the Court considers appropriate;

(e) where the legal practitioner is a barrister, that the Authority, in accordance with Part 9 , strike the name of the person off the roll of practising barristers and inform the Chief Justice and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns of the fact;

(f) where the legal practitioner is a solicitor, that the name of the solicitor be struck off the roll of solicitors;

(g) in the case of a legal practitioner to whom a Patent has been granted, that the Authority make an application referred to in section 175(2) in respect of that grant;

(h) that the legal practitioner do one or more than one of the following:

(i) take, at his or her own expense, such other action in the interests of the complainant as the Court may specify;

(ii) pay a sum as restitution or part restitution to any aggrieved party, without prejudice to any legal right of such party;

(iii) pay the whole or a part of the costs of the Disciplinary Tribunal or of any person making submissions to it or appearing before it, in respect of the inquiry concerned (which costs shall be assessed by a Legal Costs Adjudicator in default of agreement);

(i) where the legal practitioner is a solicitor:

(i) that a specified bank shall furnish any information in its possession that the Law Society may require relating to any aspect of the financial affairs of the practice of the solicitor;

(ii) that the solicitor shall swear an affidavit disclosing all information relating to or contained in accounts, held in his or her own name or in the name of his or her firm or jointly with third parties with any bank within a specified duration of time, to be fixed by the Court;

(iii) that the solicitor make restitution to any aggrieved party the Court thinks fit;

(iv) on the application of the Law Society or the Authority, that the solicitor swear an affidavit (within a specified duration of time to be fixed by the Court) disclosing all information as to his or her assets either then in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement and, if no longer in his or her possession or control or within his or her procurement, his or her belief as to the present whereabouts of those assets;

(v) that the solicitor make himself or herself available before the Court on a specified day and at a specified time for oral examination under oath or under affirmation in relation to the contents of any affidavit of assets sworn by him or her pursuant to subparagraph (iv);

(vi) on the application of the Law Society or the Authority and where it is shown that the conduct of the solicitor or of any clerk or servant of that solicitor arising from that solicitor’s practice as a solicitor has given or is likely to give rise to the making by the Law Society of a grant or grants out of the Compensation Fund, direct that the solicitor shall not reduce his assets below a certain specified amount or value unless the Court otherwise directs;

(vii) on the application of the Law Society or the Authority, the delivery to any person appointed by the Law Society or Authority of all or any documents in the possession or control or within the procurement of the solicitor arising from his practice as a solicitor;

(viii) either—

(I) that no bank shall, without leave of the Court, make any payment out of an account in the name of the solicitor or his firm, or

(II) that a specified bank shall not without leave of the Court, make any payment out of any account in the name of the solicitor or his or her firm;

(ix) that the solicitor shall not attend at the place of business of his or her practice as a solicitor unless otherwise permitted by the Court;

(x) that the solicitor shall not represent himself or herself as having, or hold himself or herself out as having, any connection with his or her former practice as a solicitor, or permit any other person to so represent that solicitor, unless otherwise permitted by the Court.

(8) In making an order under subsection (6), the Court may, in addition—

(a) make such order as to costs incurred in the proceedings before it and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal as the Court thinks fit,

(b) make an ancillary order in relation to the matter which the Court thinks fit.

(9) In this section, “Patent” has the same meaning as it has in Part 12 , and includes a Patent granted in the State before the coming into operation of this section.