In the Media

Ex-Times lawyer to appeal SDT suspension

PUBLISHED July 18, 2014

The former legal director of The Times is to appeal his suspension from practising.

The administrative court at the High Court has confirmed it will hear Alastair Brett's appeal against his six-month suspension and £30,000 costs order imposed in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last December.

The case is listed for 23 July.

Brett was found by the SDT to have knowingly or recklessly allowed an incorrect witness statement to be served during litigation in the High Court in 2009. The SRA had alleged that during a hearing in that litigation before Mr Justice Eady, Brett allowed the court to proceed on the basis of an incorrect assumption as to the facts.

The litigation centred on the naming of the author of the 'Nightjack' blog as serving police officer, DC Horton. Patrick Foster, a journalist working for The Times, discovered Nightjack's identity by unlawful access to email accounts.

Brett argued last year that he instructed Foster to undertake research to show that DC Horton's identity could be ascertained through open-source material. He also denied knowing when Foster began to undertake that research.

He told the SDT that he had a dilemma between his duty to the court and whether he risked breaching confidence in respect of what he regarded as privileged information given to him by his client, Foster.

The SRA has confirmed Brett is currently suspended from practice.

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