A disciplinary hearing into alleged misconduct by human rights solicitor Philip Shiner went ahead today despite a last-ditch request to adjourn proceedings. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal rejected claims by Shiner, formerly head of Public Interest Lawyers, that he was too distressed to attend and did not have enough money to fight the charges.

Andrew Tabachnik, counsel for the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which brought the charges, said Shiner was unwilling to cooperate and trying to ‘manoeuvre’ the tribunal into delaying the case.

Tabachnik told the Tribunal there was nothing in Shiner’s medical notes and psychological assessments that suggested he was unable to attend the hearing. The tribunal also rejected attempts to delay the hearing until Shiner could attend, saying it was in the public interest to start proceedings.

Tabachnik said it would be ‘perverse’ to delay proceedings in what was already a long-running trial.

Shiner, who ran claims on behalf of Iraqi civilians against British armed forces, faces 24 charges. He did not attend today's hearing. 

The hearing, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.