The Solicitors Regulation Authority will next month go to the High Court in an attempt prove misconduct charges against human rights firm Leigh Day. The SRA will have its appeal heard against the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal decision to find no allegations proven against three solicitors and the firm itself.
The hearing will be at the administrative court from 17 July and is scheduled to last until 23 July.
It has not been disclosed whether the appeal relates to all the 19 allegations originally made against the respondents – or indeed whether the appeal still concerns all three individiuals: senior partner Martyn Day, equity partner Sapna Malik and solicitor Anna Crowther.
They, and the firm, were all cleared of professional misconduct by the tribunal following a seven-week hearing last summer.
A Leigh Day spokesman said: ‘The firm was exonerated by the SDT in June 2017 after a lengthy hearing. We shall defend the SRA’s appeal and remain confident that the High Court will uphold the decision of the SDT that all the charges are not proven.’
The original charges relating to the handling of historic claims by Iraqi civilians against the Ministry of Defence. Allegations included the firm and solicitors personally endorsing claims in a 2008 press conference, late disclosure of a key document, disposal of a translation of that document, unlawful payments to a third party and not acting on the use of the word ‘bribe’ in three emails handled by the firm.
Following the tribunal decision, Martyn Day said he had ‘battled on behalf of the ordinary man and woman in this country and abroad to ensure they get access to justice not least when they face the might of British multinationals or government’.
It has already been confirmed there will be no costs order against the SRA, after Leigh Day failed in an application for the regulator to pay 60% of its estimated £7.8m costs. Before the appeal, the SRA itself had already spent around £1.5m.