The outgoing chair of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates (SAHCA) will use his final speech in the role to highlight a ‘continuing culture of attacks’ on solicitor advocates.

Leslie Cuthbert (pictured) will give a farewell address to SAHCA’s annual conference tomorrow where he will reference the ‘enduring mind-set amongst some members of the bar and the judiciary of there being a two-tier hierarchy of advocates’.

On a brighter note, he will also note that solicitor judge Gary Hickinbottom has been promoted to the Court of Appeal. Hickinbottom, who is also president of the SAHCA, was promoted last month.

As the Gazette reported at the time, Hickinbottom follows in the footsteps of solicitor Lawrence Collins (Baron Collins of Mapesbury). Collins was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2007 and to the Supreme Court in 2009.

‘It is an incredible achievement and SAHCA is both proud and fortunate to have him as our president,’ Cuthbert will say.

In the speech, Cuthbert will also challenge the ‘lazy assumption that the solicitors’ side of the profession has more ethical challenges than the bar’.

He will refer to the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service, whose findings ‘can prove illuminating as to just what our learned friends are liable to do themselves’.

SAHCA's annual conference takes place tomorrow at Prospero House, Borough, London.