Practice and Procedure


PUBLISHED February 20, 2003

The Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal had included an appropriate subjective element in applying the test for dishonesty when finding that the appellant's conduct in relation to nineteen transactions had been dubious or fraudulent.Appeal against the decision of the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal ('SDT') on 10 September 2002 that the appellant ('D') had been guilty of conduct unbecoming of a solicitor. The tribunal had held, amongst other things, that D had been involved in nineteen dubious or fraudulent transactions, had failed to protect clients' funds and had wrongly acted for both the person behind dubious investment schemes and potential investors in those schemes. On the present appeal, D argued: (i) that the SDT had failed to apply the correct test for dishonesty in Twinsectra Ltd v Yardley & ors (2002) 2 All ER of actual consciousness of wrongdoing but had instead made a finding of dishonesty on the basis of recklessness; and (ii) that the test in Twinsectra required a subjective approach as to a guilty mind but the SDT had applied an objective test.HELD: (1) It was impossible to contend that the SDT had misdirected itself as to the correct test for dishonesty. (2) The SDT had included an appropriate subjective element in applying the test for dishonesty. The words used in the SDT's findings did not connote an objective test. (3) There was no sustainable ground to challenge the SDT's findings.Appeal dismissed.