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Solicitors Regulation Authority says sorry to Lord Harley for ‘causing distress’

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“Harry Potter” lawyer receives written apology over lost file fiasco, but independent complaints body clears regulator of discrimination

Harley

Officials at the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have apologised to Alan Blacker — who shot to fame when a Crown Court judge berated him for festooning his gown with Harry Potter-style medals — after the solicitor-advocate complained over the handling of investigations into his practice.

Legal Cheek understands that Blacker — also known as Lord Harley of Counsel — officially complained to the Independent Complaint Resolution Service (ICRS) earlier this year over several issues, including alleged discrimination. The ICRS — a specialist provider of complaint and dispute resolution services — independently oversees complaints regarding the SRA.

Blacker, who is based in Heywood, Lancashire, alluded to the ICRS findings on his extensive LinkedIn page last week, posting a message claiming that the SRA had been “ordered to apologise for not handling complaints of racism and general misconduct properly”.

Lead

However, Legal Cheek can reveal that the apology was in relation to a miscommunication regarding a lost file concerning Blacker. The SRA had incorrectly informed the lawyer that a file containing his details had gone missing.

According to the SRA, none of Blacker’s grievances were upheld by the independent complaints body, but the final report did recommend — and not “ordered” as Harley suggests — an apology.

As a result, the SRA wrote to Blacker two months ago apologising for the misunderstanding and any distress caused.

An SRA spokesman told Legal Cheek:

The Independent Complaints Resolution Service has oversight of the way we handle complaints about our service and provides a final independent response to complainants. The ICRS did not uphold Dr Blacker’s complaints. However, it did make a recommendation that we apologise to Dr Blacker for any distress caused when we mistakenly advised we had lost files when we had not. We wrote to Dr Blacker in June to apologise.

The spokesman then addressed issues of alleged discrimination:

We also reminded staff to consider inviting further information from complainants to help us better understand concerns of discrimination that are raised with us, although as we said, Dr Blacker’s concern in this respect was not upheld by the ICRS.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that the Law Society — which has technical oversight of the otherwise independent SRA — has been told to ask the regulator to release some correspondence between it and Blacker’s charity, the Rochdale-based Joint Armed Forces Legal Advocacy Service (JAFLAS).

A ruling from the society’s freedom of information code adjudicator was handed down at the end of last month, suggesting that the SRA release a series of correspondence and reports regarding the charity. The Law Society does not fall within the scope of freedom of information legislation, but it has adopted its own code of practice, which covers the SRA.

However, the SRA is not obliged to comply with adjudications and it is understood officials are considering the ruling. No detail is known of the substance of that correspondence and reports.

Legal Cheek contacted the charity’s office late on Friday for comment. An unidentified voice simply responded by saying:

Bugger off.

Read the ruling in full below:

Adjudication in a matter raised by YZ

87 Comments

Anonymous

Perhaps the SRA will now finally feel both able and, dare I say it, “incentivised” to resolve the AB affair.

(21)(0)

SRA Rep

Perhaps the online bullying from the Legal Cheek team will stop now.

(9)(64)

Twit Harley

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(57)(2)

The Rt. Hon. The Lord Harley Davidson KGCSt.J. DPhil. MA MLit LLM LLB MBA BBQ ROFL DTF DAFUQ

Thank you for your support, dear SRA Rep.

I trust that LEGAL CHEEK, an ODIOUS example of GUTTER JOURNALISM will be smitten from the surface of the Earth and reduced to the ash heap of history where it belongs.

As the foremost representatives of JAFLAS, I, Lord Harley Davidson, provide the finest of legal advice to all my clients, both domestic and international, and strive for excellence at every time, always.

Yours in utmost Faith of Dear GOD,

L. H. D.

(50)(2)

UCL Law Grad

Hi Alan

(9)(1)

Anonymous

*puts kettle on. Grabs Popcorn*

(28)(0)

Anonymous

Tea and popcorn? Are you insane?

(16)(1)

Anonymous

some men just want to watch the world burn..

…with a cup of tea and a side of popcorn

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Finally some decent and intelligently written comments on LC.

(6)(0)

Section 77 PACE 1984

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(14)(0)

Amon

What a pillock

(10)(0)

Cloughie

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(27)(1)

Tall Poppy Syndrome

Reading your odious and, may I say, envious comment, I can’t help but to feel that most of the urchins debating Lord Harley on this pathetic website are simply jealous of another person’s undeniable success in the profession.

Why on Earth should Lord Harley be providing anyone with proof of his qualifications? If you’re so interested in verifying it yourself, you’re very welcome to hire a professional referencing company to do so for you.

This whole comments page is smeared with nothing less than jealousy of a man who’s doing well for himself, whilst others are probably stuck in paralegal purgatory, or even completely failing to gain meaningful employment as a solicitor or barrister.

The closest you’ll ever come to the Bar my darlings, is when you’re serving me a frothy pint of your finest lager and then taking payment off my platinum AmEx. A tall poppy syndrome indeed, or may I add, a short willy problem as well!

A. B.

(9)(30)

You must be joking

Jealous ? Of Blacker ?

Best laugh I have had for years.

The man is a first class twat.

(23)(2)

The Alan Blacker Comment Commando

You, dear sir, clearly have a small sack. #jealouskent

(1)(5)

Cloughie

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(11)(2)

Section 77 PACE 1984

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(12)(1)

Bazza McBallsack

Short does not always mean bad my friend. Have you ever heard of a choad? It’s the girth that matters!

(7)(0)

Anonymous

I think you may well be correct most if not all the commentators on LC are Paralegals / students you can tell from the juvenile comments FACT

(3)(11)

A Frankel

You can tell the Blacker comments as they stand out a mile off.

(6)(1)

Opium Poppy Syndrome

Would explain a lot really…

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Well said

(0)(1)

A. Barrister

I suggest the SRA do a better job of redaction in the future… you need to remove the underlying information from the file after applying the redaction overlay.

Otherwise you can highlight it and the text appears… terrible when that happens, even if what is hidden is dull as dishwater.

(11)(0)

Section 77 PACE 1984

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(6)(0)

A little help from my friends

Great to get all your mates and the pathetic Legal Cheek team to write comments – Bish bash bosh

(3)(5)

Cloughie

Following my prompt “with a little help from my friends” posts a typical Blacker ish comment.

Blacker of course has no friends in the legal world.

Mind it does look as though he has been nipping the turps a touch early.

(15)(1)

Nthenry

Bit of a misleading title, shouldn’t it be “Solicitors Regulation Authority says sorry to Alan Blacker for not losing a file”?

(14)(1)

The Lardy Harley

Has Adam Sowerbutts got the most tedious job the whole wide world…?

Jeez, I fell asleep after reaching page 2 of his lengthy tome…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(8)(0)

Anonymous

He’s got the worst name, that’s for sure. He must have had a tough time at school

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Legal Cheek is just like being at school.

(1)(0)

Satin Cut

“However, the SRA is not obliged to comply with adjudications and it is understood officials are considering the ruling” Isn’t the ICRS a bit pointless and useless then?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

The ruling they are currently considering whether to ignore is from the ‘independent’ adjudicator, not the ICRS.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

It is a bit odd, to say the least, that the Law Society has redacted the adjudication – unprecedented, I think. Para 18 of its FOI code says the full text will be published. Para 17 (3rd sentence) is the bit that says they can ignore the adjudicator’s decision but whether that will prove valid if tested – as it may be in this case – remains to be seen.

(0)(0)

A person

I don’t quite know who Blacker is or his past transgressions, but not one person who has commented should be proud of what they have said.

Not one of you.

(3)(11)

Lord Harley motorbikes

Not even I, the esteemed seventh Earl Blacker, Lord Harley?! It is them who are tarnishing my name, the gutter fiends!

(6)(0)

Lord Harley of Counsel K.StJ. LLM LLB MDA BSc DPhil B&Q BBQ WTF ABBA LOL

Shut up Alan.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Agree no wonder the Government wishes to get rid of this ludicrous outdated profession the quicker the better…

(0)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t quite know who Blacker is =
You are Blacker are you not …

(0)(0)

Earl O'Herlihy

This story is a mere side-show, and a tedious one at that. Perhaps contributors can save their virtual ink, bile, fury and self-righteous indignation until there is really something to say about this silly little man?
Unless the SRA have contracted out their investigations to John Chilcot, we must hear something definitive soon, surely?

(4)(1)

Anonymous

The SRA says: “However, it did make a recommendation that we apologise to Dr Blacker for any distress caused when we mistakenly advised we had lost files when we had not.” Can Mr Blacker (not Dr) tell us what distress was in fact caused?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

The SRA refer to Dr I believe…

(2)(2)

V Clough

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Euphony

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

As much a doctor as a Lord, I think.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I bought my nephew a Lordship for £20 as a gift. Even he, i think, has more right to be called a Lord than this Meatloaf-esque vacuous waste of oxygen.

(2)(1)

Euphony

And as much a Lord as a Master.

(1)(0)

Not Amused

“oh NA, how can you be so rude about the legal regulators?” “how can you say that they are completely incompetent and a thorough waste of money” “how can you suggest that they mess up and obfuscate every single task they are ever supposed to do”

(6)(2)

A reader

The redaction fiasco sort of sums it up …

(0)(1)

Leah Blacker

Top post NA. Spot on.

(6)(3)

Comments are closed.