A former solicitor, who believes virtually the entire legal profession is involved in a conspiracy against her, has had a civil restraint order extended.
Anal Sheikh, a conveyancing solicitor and principal at a Wembley practice until she was struck off in 2009, was described by Mr Justice Turner as having an ‘enthusiasm for litigation matched only by her loathing and disdain for the judges, advocates and other litigants’ who have been involved in claims she has made.
Sheikh was made subject to a general civil restraint order following a contentious property dispute, the order has been extended at regular two-year intervals. The matter returned to the High Court as the latest extension was due to expire.
In Sheikh v Page & Anor, Turner said he was in no doubt that it was appropriate to extend the order, warning that to do otherwise would result in a ‘blizzard of uncontrolled and unmeritorious claims’ seeking to resurrect litigation and challenge a broad swathe of court decisions the relevance of which ‘can be fathomed only by herself’.
The judge added: ‘Repeated adverse rulings provide her with no disincentive for her continuing persistent interventions and, on the contrary, serve only to strengthen further her all-pervading confirmation bias.’
The court heard that in spite of the restraint order preventing Sheikh from pursing litigation, she has lost none of her appetite for ‘forensic adventurism’.
She has, according to the judgment, at various times, emailed the Supreme Court seeking an application to bring proceedings, emailed around 500 lawyers alleging conveyancing fraud, attempted to impeach various Court of Appeal judges, and emailed her grievances to well-known people such as Boris Johnson and presenter Andrew Marr.
She has also accused leading judges of being involved in conspiracies to defraud and steal. At the latest hearing she named eight barristers and solicitors who should be committed for contempt of court.
Turner said Sheikh’s behaviour fitted the ‘all too familiar template of the obsessive litigant’.
‘Miss Sheikh’s applications fail even to get off the ground. In any event, I can discern no substantive merit lurking behind the procedural clutter of these initiatives,’ he said.
‘There are some unlucky people for whom litigation becomes akin to an addiction; harmful, destructive and all-consuming.’
As a postscript, Turner said Sheikh’s applications and interventions continued ‘unabated’ after he reserved judgment. He rejected her application for him to recuse himself, which had been argued partly on the basis he may be masquerading as a judge and was in fear of gangs.