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Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

441

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

(bb)    

the suspension of that solicitor from practice as a sole

 

solicitor indefinitely or for a specified period;”,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment allows a solicitor to apply to the Tribunal for a termination of a suspension

 

previously ordered by the Tribunal. This amendment also provides that on an application or

 

complaint under the Act, the Tribunal may revoke a sole solicitor endorsement, or suspend a

 

solicitor from sole practice.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

80

 

Schedule  16,  page  249,  line  35,  after ‘£5,000”,’ insert—

 

‘( )    

after subsection (2)(e) insert—

 

“(ea)    

the termination of that solicitor’s unspecified period

 

of suspension from practice as a sole solicitor;”,

 

( )    

after subsection (2D) insert—

 

“(2E)    

On the hearing of any complaint made to the Tribunal by

 

virtue of section 34A(2) or (3), the Tribunal shall have power

 

to make one or more of the following—

 

(a)    

an order directing the payment by the employee to

 

whom the complaint relates of a penalty to be

 

forfeited to Her Majesty;

 

(b)    

an order requiring the Society to consider taking such

 

steps as the Tribunal may specify in relation to that

 

employee;

 

(c)    

if that employee is not a solicitor, an order which

 

states one or more of the matters mentioned in

 

paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 43(2);

 

(d)    

an order requiring the Society to refer to an

 

appropriate regulator any matter relating to the

 

conduct of that employee.

 

(2F)    

Subsections (1) to (1C), (3) and (4) of section 44 apply in

 

relation to an order under subsection (2E)(c) as they apply in

 

relation to an order under section 43(2).

 

(2G)    

Section 44(2), paragraph 16(1)(d) and (1A)(d) of Schedule 2

 

to the Administration of Justice Act 1985 and paragraph

 

15(3A) of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act

 

1990 apply in relation to an order under subsection (2E)(c) as

 

they apply in relation to an order under section 43(2).

 

(2H)    

For the purposes of subsection (2E)(d) an “appropriate

 

regulator” in relation to an employee means—

 

(a)    

if the employee is an authorised person in relation to

 

a reserved legal activity (within the meaning of the

 

Legal Services Act 2007), any relevant approved

 

regulator (within the meaning of that Act) in relation

 

to that employee, and

 

(b)    

if the employee carries on activities which are not

 

reserved legal activities (within the meaning of that

 

Act), any body which regulates the carrying on of

 

such activities by the employee.”,’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

442

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides the Tribunal with certain order powers to accompany new application

 

and complaints powers in relation to sole solicitor endorsements. This amendment also adapts the

 

application of certain statutory provisions for such orders.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

81

 

Schedule  16,  page  249,  line  41,  after ‘Tribunal)’, insert—

 

‘(a)    

in subsection (2)(b)—

 

(i)    

after “(e),” insert “(ea),”, and

 

(ii)    

omit “in the London Gazette”, and

 

(b)    

’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that the obligation for the Law Society to publish certain Tribunal orders

 

under section 47 extends to decisions to suspend or revoke sole solicitor endorsements. It also

 

omits the specific need to publish section 47 decisions in the London Gazette.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

82

 

Schedule  16,  page  249,  line  42,  at end insert ‘, and

 

(c)    

after subsection (4) insert—

 

“(5)    

In the case of orders of the Tribunal under section 44E, the

 

reference in subsection (2)(a) to the application or complaint

 

is to be read as a reference to the Tribunal’s order.”’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment adds a new subsection (5) to section 48 of the Solicitors Act 1974. The subsection

 

ensures that a note of a Tribunal order under new section 44E is entered on the solicitor’s roll.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

83

 

Schedule  16,  page  250,  line  13,  after ‘(e)’, insert ‘, (ea)’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment is related to amendment 79. It ensures that any decision of the High Court in

 

relation to an appeal from a Tribunal order terminating a person’s suspension from sole practice

 

shall be final.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

84

 

Schedule  16,  page  251,  line  20,  after ‘(5)’, insert ‘—

 

(a)    

’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This is a paving amendment for amendment 85.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

85

 

Schedule  16,  page  251,  line  23,  at end insert ‘, and


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

443

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

(b)    

in paragraph (d) after “solicitor” insert “, or any employee of his who

 

is an authorised person,”.

 

      ()  

After that subsection insert—

 

“(5A)    

In subsection (5) “authorised person” means a person who is an

 

authorised person in relation to an activity which is a reserved legal

 

activity, within the meaning of the Legal Services Act 2007 (see

 

section 18 of that Act).”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that orders made under section 56 to regulate remuneration of solicitors

 

for non-contentious business may take into account the skill, labour and responsibility that the

 

business in question requires not only of solicitors, but also of employees of solicitors who are

 

authorised persons.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

86

 

Schedule  16,  page  251,  line  43,   leave out ‘negligence’ and insert ‘his negligence,

 

or that of any employee of his,’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amends a prohibition on provisions in contentious agreements relieving a solicitor of

 

responsibility for negligence, so that it also catches such provisions about the negligence of the

 

solicitor’s employees.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

87

 

Schedule  16,  page  252,  line  27,  at end insert ‘, and

 

(iii)    

after “solicitor” (in the third place) insert “, or any of his

 

employees,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that an assessment by a costs officer of the remuneration due to a

 

solicitor in respect of previous work may take into account any default, negligence, delay or

 

improper conduct on the part of a solicitor’s employees.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

88

 

Schedule  16,  page  252,  line  39,  at end insert—

 

‘(d)    

in paragraph (a), after “solicitor” insert “or an employee of the

 

solicitor”, and

 

(e)    

in paragraph (b), after “him” insert “or by any employee of his who is

 

an authorised person (within the meaning of section 56(5A))”.’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that on an assessment of costs in respect of any contentious business, the

 

costs officer may, in determining the remuneration of the solicitor, take into account the skill,

 

labour and responsibility of not only the solicitor, but also employees of the solicitor who are

 

authorised persons.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

444

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

320

 

Schedule  16,  page  252,  line  44,  leave out paragraph 59 and insert—

 

‘59      

In section 69 (action to recover solicitor’s costs)—

 

(a)    

in subsection (1) for “taxed” substitute “assessed”,

 

(b)    

for subsection (2) substitute—

 

“(2)    

The requirements referred to in subsection (1) are that the

 

bill—

 

(a)    

must be signed—

 

(i)    

by the solicitor, or on his behalf by any

 

employee authorised by the solicitor to do so;

 

(ii)    

if the costs are due to a firm, by one of the

 

partners of that firm, either in his own name

 

or in the name of the firm, or on his behalf by

 

any employee authorised by any partner to do

 

so; or

 

(iii)    

be enclosed in, or accompanied by, a letter

 

which is so signed and refers to the bill;

 

(b)    

must be delivered to the party to be charged with the

 

bill, either—

 

(i)    

personally;

 

(ii)    

by being sent to him by post to, or left for him

 

at, his place of business, dwelling-house, or

 

last known place of abode;

 

(iii)    

(subject to subsection (2A)) where he has

 

provided an e-mail address to the solicitor for

 

that purpose, by being sent to him by e-mail

 

to that address (and, if he required that any

 

attachment to an e-mail be in any particular

 

electronic format, in accordance with that

 

requirement); or

 

(iv)    

(subject to subsection (2A)) where he has

 

provided a fax number to the solicitor for that

 

purpose, by being sent to him by fax to that

 

number; and

 

    

where a bill is proved to have been delivered in

 

compliance with those requirements, it shall not be

 

necessary in the first instance for the solictor to prove

 

the contents of the bill and it shall be presumed, until

 

the contrary is shown, to be a bill bona fide complying

 

with this Act.

 

(2A)    

Sub-paragraph (iii) or (iv) of subsection (2)(b) does not apply

 

if the party to be charged with the bill has indicated to the

 

solicitor, before the bill is sent, that he is not willing to accept

 

delivery of a bill sent by the method in question.

 

(2B)    

A bill which is sent by fax or e-mail is to be treated as having

 

been delivered the working day after the day on which it was

 

sent (unless the contrary is proved) and in this subsection

 

“working day” means a day which is not a Saturday, Sunday,

 

Bank Holiday or other public holiday,” and


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

445

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

(c)    

after subsection (3) insert—

 

“(3A)    

In subsection (2)(a) where a signature is required, an

 

electronic signature incorporated into the document shall

 

satisfy this requirement and an electronic signature is as much

 

of anything in electronic form as

 

(a)    

is incorprated into or otherwise logically associated

 

with any electronic communication or electronic data;

 

and

 

(b)    

purports to be so incorporated or associated for the

 

purpose of being used in establishing the authenticity

 

of the communication or data, the integrity of the

 

communication or data, or both.”’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

89

 

Schedule  16,  page  257,  line  21,  after ‘32(1)(a)”,’ insert—

 

‘( )    

after the definition of “sole solicitor” insert—

 

““sole solicitor endorsement” has the same meaning as in section

 

1B;”’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment adds a definition of “sole solicitor endorsement” to the interpretation provisions.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

310

 

Schedule  16,  page  257,  line  33,  leave out paragraph (a) and insert—

 

‘(a)    

for sub-paragraph (1)(a) substitute—

 

“(a)    

the Society has reason to suspect dishonesty on the part

 

of a solicitor;”.

 

(aa)    

after that sub-paragraph insert—

 

“(aa)    

the Society has reason to suspect dishonesty on the part

 

of—

 

(i)    

an employee of a solicitor, or

 

(ii)    

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;”,’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

90

 

Schedule  16,  page  257,  line  35,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

after “trustee” insert “or that employee is or was a trustee in

 

his capacity as such an employee”,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the circumstances in which the Law Society may intervene in a solicitor’s

 

practice to cover suspected dishonesty in connection with any trust of which an employee of that

 

solicitor is or was a trustee in his capacity as an employee.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

446

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

311

 

Schedule  16,  page  258,  line  8,  at end insert—

 

‘(iii)    

after “practice” insert “or has failed or is failing properly to

 

attend to his practice”,’.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

91

 

Schedule  16,  page  258,  line  33,  leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

 

‘(b)    

for paragraph (a) substitute—

 

“(a)    

the Society is satisfied that there has been undue

 

delay—

 

(i)    

on the part of a solicitor in connection with

 

any matter in which the solicitor or his

 

firm is or was acting on behalf of a client

 

or with any trust, or

 

(ii)    

on the part of an employee of a solicitor in

 

connection with any trust of which the

 

employee is or was a trustee in his capacity

 

as such an employee; and”,’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the circumstances in which the Law Society may intervene in a solicitor’s

 

practice to cover undue delay in connection with any trust of which an employee of that solicitor

 

is or was a trustee in his capacity as an employee.

 

Bridget Prentice

 

92

 

Schedule  16,  page  259,  line  1,  leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

 

‘(b)    

in sub-paragraph (2)(a) for “his practice” to the end substitute—

 

“(i)    

his practice or former practice,

 

(ii)    

any trust of which he is or formerly was a

 

trustee, or

 

(iii)    

any trust of which a person who is or was

 

an employee of the solicitor is or was a

 

trustee in the person’s capacity as such an

 

employee;”, and’.

 


 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

This amendment extends the powers of the Law Society following intervention. Under paragraph

 

6 of Schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974, sums of money can now vest in the Law Society where

 

they are held by or on behalf of the solicitor in connection with the situations set out in this

 

amendment.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

312

 

Schedule  16,  page  262,  line  18,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

in paragraph (d) omit “such”.’.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 21st June 2007                  

447

 

Legal Services Bill [Lords], continued

 
 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

313

 

Schedule  16,  page  262,  line  35,  at end insert—

 

‘(ca)    

for recognition to be made subject to such conditions as the Council at

 

any time sees fit to impose in such circumstances as are specified in the

 

rules;

 

(cb)    

for the Society to require, in such circumstances as may be specified in

 

the rules, recognised bodies to satisfy the Society as to their continuing

 

suitability to be recognised under this section;’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

314

 

Schedule  16,  page  263,  line  20,  at end insert—

 

‘( )    

Rules made by the Council under subsection (1) and (2) may make different

 

provision for different categories of person or body and for different

 

circumstances.’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

315

 

Schedule  16,  page  264,  line  16,  at end insert ‘and, if any such person is a body

 

corporate, it also includes a manager of that body corporate’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

316

 

Schedule  16,  page  264,  line  21,  at end insert—

 

‘“solicitor business” means a business consisting of or including solicitor

 

services;’.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

260

 

Schedule  16,  page  264,  line  35,  leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert—

 

‘at least three-quarters of the partners are authorised persons or are registered foreign

 

lawyers, and any other partners do not directly provide services to clients.’.

 

 

Members’ explanatory statement

 

See Members’ explanatory statement for amendment 259.

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mr Henry Bellingham

 

Mr Tobias Ellwood

 

261

 

Schedule  16,  page  264,  line  43,  leave out paragraphs (a) and (b) and insert—

 

‘at least three-quarters of the members of the body are authorised persons or are registered

 

foreign lawyers, and any other members do not directly provide services to clients.’.


 
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