Former solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker, who was struck off the roll by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in July, has lost his bid to have a fresh hearing into his case.
Blacker (pictured), who also goes under the name Lord Harley, was banned in July after a string of accounting and dishonesty allegations were proven against him.
Blacker did not appear at either the July or today’s hearing, citing health problems for preventing travel to London.
He was represented by Goldsmith Chambers’ Anton van Dellen, who told the tribunal this morning that his client was asking for the opportunity to cross-examine the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s witnesses and challenge the regulator’s case.
‘The key issue is essentially a request by my client for the hearing to be in Manchester,’ van Dellen said. ‘He says, to put it quite simply, that he cannot travel to London or he’s at risk if he travels to London.’
He added that today’s hearing was neither a judicial review nor an appeal, noting ‘a separate appeal that’s going to go on at the High Court’.
However Edward Levey, counsel for the SRA, said medical evidence ‘could and should have been produced’ prior to July’s substantive hearing. He added that Blacker had been ‘taken off the road because he is a danger and a menace, and that should remain the position’.
Medical evidence was discussed in a closed session lasting more than 30 minutes this morning.
However, this afternoon the tribunal ruled against a rehearing.
Chair David Glass said the three-strong bench was satisfied that the gateway engaging rule 19 of the SDT Rules 2011 had been passed, in that Blacker had not been in attendance at the hearing or represented, and that the case was determined in his absence.
Glass praised counsel for both parties, saying that the tribunal was ‘grateful for the clear presentation of the arguments’ presented by Levey and van Dellen.
However, he said the tribunal considered that Blacker 'has been at fault in not complying with directions of the tribunal in enabling the medical situation to be investigated. It’s that failure that led to matters arriving at the point they have now.’
Glass said the tribunal was not in a position to know what would have happened if the medical situation had been investigated. However, the investigation was ‘inhibited by the position' that Blacker took, he added.
Blacker was ordered to pay £7,500 costs of the SRA’s response to the rehearing application.
The order was made following a debate between counsel about the costs schedule. The total costs claimed by the regulator had been £9,112.90, which van Dellen had asked the tribunal to ‘write down’, on a summary basis, to £4,500.
Alan Blacker loses SDT rehearing bid
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Former solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker loses SDT rehearing bid