Claimant firm Leigh Day – the subject of the longest ever Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal – has launched its own specialist team to advise others facing prosecution. The firm today created a regulatory and disciplinary team to advise and act for professionals and their practices on matters including investigations and prosecutions.
For more than four years, Leigh Day has been subject to an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority into its conduct in the handling of claims by Iraqi civilians against the Ministry of Defence. The probe culminated in a seven-week hearing in 2017, after which Leigh Day was cleared of all charges. The SRA has since appealed that decision and a court ruling is expected this autumn.
The new regulatory team is made up of Frances Swaine, Leigh Day’s managing partner, and associate solicitors Gideon Habel and Emma Walker. The trio acted as the firm’s in-house legal team throughout the SRA investigation and subsequent proceedings.
Swaine said the team had gained a unique insight into regulatory and disciplinary law and proceedings from their experiences over the last few years.
The aim is now to advise professionals on maintaining a compliant practice, help them with the communicating with their regulator and support them through an investigation, prosecution or appeal. Swaine added: ‘We know what it’s like to be under regulatory scrutiny and the difficulties it creates for practices and practitioners, both professionally and personally, and we want to help fellow professionals and their practices in what are challenging times.’
The firm has made its name in human rights and personal injury claims.