White v Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and others: Admn 17 Dec 2001

The claimant solicitor sought a judicial review, on the grounds of procedural unfairness, of the decisions of the respondent in upholding complaints against him. The procedure involved several stages, an investigatory stage, an adjudication, an appeal, and a further appeal to the Tribunal. The solicitor complained that the adjudicator had failed to follow up certain enquiries.
Held: It was for the solicitor to present his evidence. The solicitor had been told that the adjudicator would not examine original documents unless requested to. The solicitors were entitled to a fair hearing, but this need not always be an oral hearing. Lightman J criticised the absence of any document setting out properly the complaints scheme for third parties: ‘These proceedings have revealed that there is no single document setting out the procedure to be followed on the investigation and determination of such complaints against solicitors. There are merely a series of information sheets supplied by the Law Society to the parties at the various stages of the proceedings. The parties (and most particularly solicitors) are accordingly unable to find any statement in a single document of the procedures or any guidance in this regard in any authoritative Law Society publication or in any text book (e.g. Cordery on Solicitors). This lacuna is most unfortunate . . ‘


Lightman J


[2001] EWHC Admin 1149




Solicitors Act 1974 37A

Cited by:

CitedNapier and Another v Pressdram Ltd CA 19-May-2009
The claimant solicitors appealed against the refusal to grant them an injunction to prevent the publication of the outcome of a complaint against them to the Law society, and of the Ombudsman’s report. They said that the material remained . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.168010