Emma Walker is an Associate Solicitor at Leigh Day, working in the firm’s Regulatory & Disciplinary team. For over 3 ½ years, Emma worked as part of the team responding to the SRA’s investigation and prosecution of Leigh Day.
In September 2018, Leigh Day launched its own Regulatory & Disciplinary team, in order to advise and support others with their compliance, regulatory and disciplinary needs. Emma forms part of that team.
Read the team’s insights and updates online, via Twitter, or on LinkedIn.
New Year, new chapter
This year will be the first in quite a few, in which I won’t be acting as part of Leigh Day’s in-house team, advising and supporting colleagues during the SRA’s investigation and prosecution arising out of the Al Sweady Inquiry. So 2019 represents a new chapter for me and Leigh Day’s Regulatory & Disciplinary team; one in which we are looking forward to helping clients with their regulatory and compliance needs.
The start of a new year, as well as being a good moment to look to the future, is also an opportunity to reflect on the journey leading up to that point. So at the start of this new year, I’ve been looking back on some of the judicial decisions in the Leigh Day case, because they represent important lessons for legal practitioners as they too look forward.
In this blog, I’ll be looking at the costs decision made in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in December 2017, which is an authority successful respondents can call on, when applying to recover the costs of defending themselves in regulatory prosecutions. In my next article, I’ll be looking at some of the principles that can be drawn from the High Court’s decision on the appeal of some of the substantive allegations.
Costs in the SDT
In the Leigh Day costs decision, the Tribunal unanimously agreed that the SRA is not in the position of a normal party to litigation because of its statutory duty to regulate the profession in the public interest. Thanks to that duty, costs do not “follow the event”, meaning that even where the SRA’s prosecution is unsuccessful, costs are not normally awarded against it. In such cases, the Tribunal will need to look at the SRA’s conduct in bringing the case, to see whether it was “unreasonable” or otherwise justifies a costs order being made against it…….. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE