84. The Tribunal was invited to find that the Applicant fell within the "very narrow
category" of applicants in relation to whom it would be appropriate to consider
restoration to the Roll, taking into account not only his rehabilitation but also the
wholly exceptional circumstances which applied at the time of the commission of the
offences in 1980. The Applicant was a person about whom it could be said "he could
be trusted to the ends of the earth".
85. The Applicant would always continue deeply to regret the behaviour which occurred
23 years ago which led to his name being struck off the Roll of Solicitors. The
exceptional pressures which bore upon him then no longer formed any part of his life.
He had, he believed, "grown up" and in the intervening period had withstood many
challenges to his probity and integrity. He was confident that there were no
circumstances which would induce him to act in a manner which questioned his
professionalism as a solicitor if restored to that good standing.
The Respondent's case
86. The Law Society, the Respondent to the application, indicated that it adopted a neutral
87. The Law Society made the following observations as to the relevant law.
88. Whilst Orders of the Tribunal may have a punitive purpose, in most cases Orders are
primarily directed to one or both of two other purposes. The first is to ensure that the
particular offender does not re-offend. The second purpose is the most fundamental
of all; to maintain the reputation of the solicitors' profession as one in which every
member of whatever standing may be trusted to the ends of the earth. To maintain
this reputation and sustain public confidence in the reputation of the profession it is
sometimes necessary that those guilty of serious lapses are not only expelled but
denied readmission. (Bolton -v- The Law Society  2 all ER).
89. Where a solicitor has been struck off for having brought the profession into disrepute
it is only in the case of a "very narrow category" of Applicants that it will be
appropriate for restoration to the Roll to be made. (Lord Donaldson in the matter of a
solicitor No. 5 of 1990, 9F-H).
90. In determining whether or not restoration is appropriate the Tribunal must first have
regard to the "fitness of the Applicant". (Lord Donaldson No. 5 of 1983, 3G). The
Tribunal must then have regard to what Lord Donaldson terms "apparent fitness" - the
perception from the public's point of view of the proposed restoration.
91. In the matter of a Solicitor No. 2 of 1993, 10B, Lord Bingham considered the
viewpoint to be adopted when considering that apparent fitness; "one has, I think, to
bear in mind the reaction of the ordinary, not particularly vindictive, but not
particularly well informed member of the public..."
The Tribunal's decision and its reasons
92. The Tribunal has noted the Applicant's explanation as to why full mitigation was not
placed before the Tribunal making the Striking Off Order and the reason why he did
not pursue his appeal despite legal advice that he might well achieve a favourable
outcome. The Tribunal has accepted the Applicant's assurance that he in no way
seeks to appeal against the Tribunal's decision to strike his name off the Roll of
Solicitors. The Tribunal is encouraged in its view that the Applicant does not regard
this application as an appeal against the earlier decision in view of the passage of
time. It is over 22 years since the Striking Off Order was made.
93. The Tribunal is in no doubt that the Applicant has achieved a remarkable degree of
personal rehabilitation. He has been supported in his application for restoration by his
current employers, his former partner and a wide range of people who are leaders in
their own professions and the Tribunal has particularly taken into account the very
considerable support given to the Applicant by the police.
94. The Tribunal has been impressed by the Applicant's career history and in particular
has noted the occasion when at the risk of detriment to himself and his family he
reported a fraud perpetrated by his employers to the appropriate authorities and took
steps to minimise the effect of such fraud upon those who would have been the
victims of it to a substantial degree.
95. The Tribunal has also been impressed by the Respondent's successful career in the
field of financial regulation and the prevention of financial fraud and money
96. The Tribunal concludes that the case put by the Applicant is one which can only be
described as wholly exceptional.
97. The Tribunal has concluded that the Applicant has demonstrated that he is apparently
fit to be a solicitor and that in the eyes of a member of the public he is fit to be
readmitted as a solicitor. Indeed the Tribunal concludes that the public would
consider that the solicitors' profession would be proud to have the Applicant as a
member and that public confidence in the profession as a whole would not be
damaged by his successful application.
98. The Tribunal recognises that the grant of an application for restoration to the Roll is a
very unusual course and that it is necessary for the Applicant to demonstrate that his
original offences occurred in exceptional circumstances. The Tribunal does find that
the circumstances in which the Applicant offended were indeed exceptional. The
Applicant had been relatively young and inexperienced when he was subjected to
considerable pressure of work coupled with the pressures of being in a partnership.
At the same time he had very worrying family difficulties and, indeed, in respect of
one of his offences he had been subjected to threats of physical violence had he failed
to satisfy the clients' requirements.
99. The Tribunal concludes that the Applicant's actions in 1980 had been aberrational.
The Tribunal was encouraged in that view by the Applicant's very proper behaviour
when he discovered a fraud being perpetrated by his employers, and the excellent way
in which he has conducted himself since. He had spent many years working in a
law-based environment where he holds a position of trust.
100. The Tribunal has concluded that overall this is an exceptional case and one in which it
would be right to grant the Applicant's application to be restored to the Roll of
Solicitors. The Law Society did not seek any costs and both parties agreed that the
Tribunal should make no Order for costs.
DATED this 24th day of January 2005
On behalf of the Tribunal
J R C Clitheroe
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