Former solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker has announced a new challenge to his striking off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. He revealed today that he is to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal against the High Court's refusal earlier this month to overturn a decision to strike him off for accounts breaches and making misleading statements about his qualifications.

His pro-bono representative, Dr Anton van Dellen of Goldsmith Chambers, told the Gazette that the appeal would argue that the High Court was wrong to classify the SDT listing of Blacker's case as a judicial function, and therefore exempt from the Equality Act 2000. Blacker had claimed that his disability prevented him from travelling to the London hearing. 

'Alan's argument is that the decision to hold the hearing in London was an administrative not a judicial function,' van Dellen said. 'He considers that it is very important that decisions about where hearings are heard should fall within the scope of legislation passed to protect the rights of people with disabilities.'

Blacker said he is also appealing against costs of £86,000 imposed. 'He considers that the manner in which such high costs are awarded against solicitors should be reviewed by the Court of Appeal as it is an important point of principle or practice,' van Dellen said. 

The High Court heard this month that Blacker had yet to pay a penny of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's costs and that the appeal had added another £15,237 to the bill.