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Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976

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Control of deceased solicitor's practice in certain circumstancesN.I.

39.—(1) Where—

(a)the Council have reasonable cause to believe and have passed a resolution stating that they have reasonable cause to believe that—

(i)a solicitor who has died, or his clerk, apprentice or servant, has been guilty of dishonesty or undue delay in connection with his practice as a solicitor or in connection with any trust of which the solicitor was a trustee; or

(ii)the personal representatives of a deceased solicitor who immediately before his death was practising as a[F1 sole solicitor], have been guilty of dishonesty or undue delay in administering the affairs of that solicitor's practice or in connection with any trust of which that solicitor was a trustee; or

(b)a solicitor dies and immediately before his death the provisions of Schedule 1 applied to him;

the provisions of Schedule 1 shall with necessary modifications apply or, in the case of a solicitor referred to in sub-paragraph ( b), continue to apply, to the personal representatives of that solicitor as they apply in relation to a solicitor in respect of whom the Council have passed a resolution under Article 36(1)( a).

[F1(1A) Where a solicitor dies and—

(a)immediately before his death—

(i)he was practising as a sole solicitor; and

(ii)the provisions of Schedule 1 did not apply to him; and

(b)no appointment is made under Article 32 within three months from the date of his death,

the provisions of Schedule 1 shall, if the Council so resolve, apply with the necessary modifications to the personal representatives of that solicitor as they apply in relation to a solicitor in respect of whom the Council have passed a resolution under Article 36(1)(a).]

(2) Where no grant of representation has been issued in the estate of any solicitor to whom paragraph (1)( a)(i) or ( b) applies the High Court shall, notwithstanding any enactment or rule of law to the contrary, have power to grant letters of administration (with or without will annexed) to the Society and, where such a grant is issued to them the Society may act accordingly as administrator and shall have the same rights and be subject to the same liabilities and be accountable in like manner as if the Society were the personal representatives of the deceased.

(3) On a grant being made to the Society under paragraph (2) in respect of the estate of a deceased solicitor a person shall not, without a grant being made to him, be or become entitled to administer any estate of which that deceased solicitor was an executor.

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