Anjum Dean

  • Application 11582-2016
  • Hearing 30, 31 May 2017
  • Reasons 4 July 2017

The SDT dismissed the appellant’s appeal against orders under sections 43(2) and 44D of the Solicitors Act 1974 (as amended).

The appellant appealed under section 44E of the act against a decision of an adjudication panel of the SRA dated 12 October 2016, which upheld the decision of the adjudicator dated 7 March 2016 made pursuant to her powers under section 44D(2)(a) of the act; and applied for a review under section 43(3)(a) of the act in respect of an order made by the same adjudicator on the same date under section 43(2) of the act, which was also upheld by the panel on 12 October 2016.

The appellant’s case was that there had been significant errors in the reasoning of the adjudicator and the panel, in that her requests to be interviewed should have been accepted; the respondent should have conducted some kind of fact-gathering exercise of its own, instead of relying upon a short email from the firm and the employment tribunal judgment; evidence of K capable of supporting her should have been afforded some weight; and her own explanations as to the practices of the firm and in relation to the particular payments in dispute should not have been ignored.

Having reviewed the documents that were before the panel and heard the representations made for both parties, the SDT had concluded that the decision and conclusions of the panel were not outside the bounds within which reasonable disagreement was possible, and it was not therefore satisfied that the panel’s decision in respect of the section 43 order or the disciplinary sanction made under section 44D was wrong or unjust. The section 43 order was confirmed and the order made under section 44D was affirmed.

The appellant was ordered to pay costs of £30,000; payment to be stayed pending whichever was the later of (a) the expiry of the date for lodging of an appeal; or (b) if an appeal was lodged the disposal of that appeal.