In 2015 Michael Shrimpton, a former barrister and immigration judge, was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison for hoax bomb threats (during the London 2012 Games) and possession of indecent images of children. Following this conviction, Mr Shrimpton's registration as a barrister was suspended by the Bar Standards Board ("BSB").

In 2016 the Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA") informed Shrimpton it had received a report that, while suspended by the BSB, Shrimpton had represented clients in asylum matters in breach of SRA rules and regulations. It stated its  intention to seek a "section 43" order to prevent Shrimpton from working as a solicitor without the SRA's express approval.

In 2020 Shrimpton appealed that order in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, arguing that he had been unfairly denied an oral hearing. That appeal was unsuccessful, and he sought a further appeal to the High Court.

At the High Court appeal hearing Shrimpton, representing himself, presented 14 grounds of appeal. Among these were that the Tribunal had breached rules of natural justice and the chief adjudicator was biased. Shrimpton also claimed he was falsely accused and wrongly convicted of the criminal offences in question.

In a judgment handed down last week, the High Court rejected Mr Shrimpton's appeal in its entirety. James Ramsden QC, instructed by Capsticks Solicitors LLP, appearing on behalf of the SRA commented:

"The judgment of Mr Justice Murray is a comprehensive rejection of wide-ranging challenges to the SRA's ability to regulate who may work, unqualified, in a legal practice. It is a strong decision that places public protection front and centre."

Click here to read the decision in full.

Originally Published 26 April, 2021

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