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Wright v Law Society

Solicitors — Human Rights — Law Society resolved to intervene in solicitors’ practice — Applicant partners obtained interim relief restraining intervention on without notice application — Court refused to continue interim relief — Court had no power to devise less draconian intervention regime — Law Society had good grounds for suspecting dishonesty — Intervention did not contravene human rights since Law Society acted in the public interest and subject to conditions provided for by law — Solicitors Act 1974 sched 1 — European Convention on Human Rights First Protocol Art 1

27 September 2002

The applicants were the partners in a firm of solicitors. In February 2002 Law Society investigators began investigation into the books of account of the firm. In June 2002 the applicants and others were questioned by the investigators. In August 2002 the Law Society in exercise of its powers under the Solicitors Act 1974 resolved to intervene in the applicants’ practice. The grounds of the intervention were that there was reason to suspect dishonesty by the applicants personally. The applicants applied to the High Court and obtained on a without notice basis interim relief restraining the Law Society from continuing the intervention, re-instating the applicants’ practising certificates and lifting freezing orders on their bank accounts. The applicants sought to continue the interim relief pending the hearing of an application under para 6(4) of sched 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974 for the resolution to intervene to be withdrawn. The applicants contended that the intervention would d...

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