A disciplinary hearing into a former City solicitor accused of acting where there was a conflict of interest and of misleading the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been delayed after new allegations were brought.
A case management hearing against Alexis Maitland-Hudson, of the now-dissolved Maitland-Hudson & Co, was supposed to be heard at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal yesterday.
However, the case has been postponed until next month in order for new allegations to be brought.
The tribunal heard that the new allegations, which are based on a court case in the US, had been submitted only in the past week.
Maitland-Hudson denies the charges. Representing Maitland-Hudson, Alex Robson of Littleton Chambers said his client was ‘not filibustering’ but wanted to ensure he had proper time to answer the allegations.
The new allegations, according to a Rule 7 statement, allege that Maitland-Hudson was the ‘mastermind of series of unlawful actions’. The allegations relate to a case in the US where Maitland-Hudson had been allegedly involved in the misappropriation of a business and of a related cover-up.
Robson argued that this ‘changed the nature’ of the task and that his client would need to refer to a huge number of documents and possibly call witnesses.
According to rule 7.9 of the SRA handbook, the provision of further evidence that is relevant to an investigation should be ‘full, frank and complete’.
Robson added that Maitland-Hudson, 68, had applied to have himself removed from the roll of solicitors.
Nick Daly, representing the SRA, said the respondent’s side had ‘exaggerated’ what Maitland-Hudson needed to do. Daly said the new allegations were a ‘very focused set’ and that, should the respondent need it, the SRA would be willing to extend the time of the trial or allow it to continue with existing charges and later charges to be brought at a later date.
Robson however expressed concern about potential cost duplication.
The tribunal ruled that the SRA should submit its Rule 7 statement with a view to a further case management hearing being heard on 13 April.