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Solicitors Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part ICircumstances in which Society may Intervene

1(1)Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule shall be exercisable where—

(a)the Council have reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of—

(i)a solicitor, or

(ii)an employee of a solicitor, or

(iii)the personal representatives of a deceased solicitor,

in connection with that solicitor's practice or in connection with any trust of which that solicitor is or formerly was a trustee ;

(b)the Council consider that there has been undue delay on the part of the personal representatives of a deceased solicitor who immediately before his death was practising as a sole solicitor in connection with that solicitor's practice or in connection with any controlled trust;

(c)the Council are satisfied that a solicitor has failed to comply with rules made by virtue of section 32 or 37(2)(c) ;

(d)a solicitor has been adjudged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his creditors ;

(e)a solicitor has been committed to prison in any civil or criminal proceedings;

(f)the powers conferred by section 104 (emergency powers) or 105 (appointment of receiver) of the Mental Health Act 1959 have been exercised in respect of a solicitor; or

(g)the name of a solicitor has been removed from or struck off the roll or a solicitor has been suspended from practice.

(2)The powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule shall only be exercisable under sub-paragraph (1)(c) if the Society has given the solicitor notice in writing that the Council are satisfied that he has failed to comply with rules specified in the notice and also (at the same or any later time) notice that the powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule are accordingly exercisable in his case.

2On the death of a sole solicitor paragraphs 6 to 8 shall apply to the client accounts of his practice.

3The powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule shall also be exercisable, subject to paragraphs 5(4) and 10(3), where—

(a)a complaint is made to the Society that there has been undue delay on the part of a solicitor in connection with any matter in which the solicitor or his firm was instructed on behalf of a client or with any controlled trust; and

(b)the Society by notice in writing invites the solicitor to give an explanation within a period of not less than 8 days specified in the notice ; and

(c)the solicitor fails within that period to give an explanation which the Council regard as satisfactory; and

(d)the Society gives notice of the failure to the solicitor and (at the same or any later time) notice that the powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule are accordingly exercisable.

4(1)Where the powers conferred by Part II of this Schedule are exercisable in relation to a solicitor, they shall continue to be exercisable after his death or after his name has been removed from or struck off the roll.

(2)The references to the solicitor or his firm in paragraphs 5(1), 6(2) and (3), 8, 9(1) and (5) and 10(1) include, in any case where the solicitor has died, references to his personal representatives.

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