Sunday 20 October 2019

Calls to name suspended solicitor after she is spotted in court

Tim Healy

A SOLICITOR who had been suspended from practice pending an inquiry into a deficit in her client account was spotted attending court despite the suspension, a judge was told today.

Last February, the High Court suspended the solicitor, and froze her accounts but said she should not be named pending further order.   She faces an inquiry by a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, the court heard.


Today, the Law Society asked that the order preventing her naming be lifted after one of its (society's) officers had seen her in court last April attending counsel in relation to a wardship matter.


James McDermott BL, for the society, said in light of the solicitor's "cavalier attitude" and in the interests of the public, he was seeking permission that the fact that she had been suspended could be published.


Tim Dixon BL, for the solicitor, asked that the order remain in place because she had apologised and undertook to ensure it would not happenagain.   She had been asked by counsel in the case to attend court because there was an amount of pressure on in relation to the wardship case which was continuing.


The allegation in relation to her accounts will be dealt with at a disciplinary tribunal and that would be the time when the issue of whether or not her name is published could be dealt with, he said.


High Court president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said he was surprised at what the solicitor had done but he accepted, while it was a serious matter, it was a once-off incident.  He adjourned the case to next month with the original orders, including not naming her, remaining in place.

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