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In the Matter of the Interventions into the Solicitors' Practices known as Ahmed & Co, Biebuyck Solicitors, Dixon & Co and the Practices of Mr Zoi [2006] EWHC 480 (Ch)

The Law Society’s duties as statutory trustee under the Solicitors Act 1974, Sched 1, Part II, para 6 in relation to monies received upon an intervention in a solicitor’s practice were grounded in public law.

31 March 2006

The Law Society applied to the court for directions in relation to the powers that it exercised in respect of monies received upon an intervention in a solicitor’s practice. The application was prompted by the numerous difficulties encountered by the Law Society in interventions, such as identifying those to whom monies were due and distributing such monies. In particular, a determination was sought as to whether the Law Society’s duties as statutory trustee under the Solicitors Act 1974, Sched 1, Pt II, para 6 were the same as those of a trustee under a private trust or whether those duties were affected by the statutory nature of the trust and its status in public law. The Law Society argued that the trust in para 6 was subject to public law.

HELD: The Law Society’s duties in relation to the para 6 trust were grounded in public law. There was no doubt that the Law Society’s duties in relation to its compensation fund were duties grounded in public law. Further, in re...

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