The Solicitors Regulation Authority has told a tribunal hearing that solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker deliberately lied about his qualifications and accreditations.
At the opening of a three-day hearing held in Blacker's absence, the SRA said the Rochdale solicitor knew he had made false claims about where he had studied and what qualifications he had received. Blacker denies any wrongdoing.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard that Blacker’s claims, made in a 22-page LinkedIn profile from November 2014, included that he attended universities in Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin, and that he received a first-class honours degree in law from the University of Huddersfield.
None of these claims, the SRA submitted, was true. Huddersfield said he simply passed his law degree, while the remaining three institutions had no trace of Blacker (pictured), who also goes by the name of Lord Harley.
Blacker, from Rochdale, also claimed to have a DPhil from ‘Trinity College’: this was inferred to refer to Oxford University, and indeed documents sent by Blacker had an Oxford stamp on them.
The SRA told the tribunal Blacker had informed the regulator at a late stage that the DPhil was actually acquired through an institution in Canada.
The tribunal heard Blacker’s claims that he was accredited in Denmark, Canada and Ireland, as well as the UK.
He also claimed to be a member of various associations and was an HSE boiler inspector.
These false claims, the SRA said, undermined his integrity and the faith of the public in the profession.
Claims about his qualifications and accreditation were made to various bodies, including the Charity Commission and Royal College of Surgeons.
‘No one can say to these various institutions and bodies they hold such impressive academic qualifications when they know that to be dishonest,’ said Ed Levey, representing the SRA.
‘He says to you he holds these degrees when he doesn’t hold these degrees. The only inference is he knew full well what he was doing was dishonest. It is unimaginable any solicitor could hold himself out as having these qualifications and not realise he was being dishonest.
‘He doesn’t say "this is LinkedIn, this is what solicitors do". He is lying, he knows he is lying.’
Blacker did not attend the hearing, citing health reasons and saying the case should be transferred to Manchester, nearer his home. He also accused the tribunal of ‘cynically’ setting the hearing date for his birthday.
That plea was rejected by the tribunal, which agreed to proceed in his absence.
Blacker denies all allegations against him.
The three-day hearing continues.