Lord Harley’s claim for ‘interim relief’ against Law Society struck out by High Court

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“Harry Potter” lawyer was seeking to restrain release of six closed files under a freedom of information request


The controversial solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker, otherwise known as “Lord Harley of Counsel”, has had a claim for ‘interim relief’ preventing files containing information about him being made public, struck out.

In a judgment handed down today, Mr Justice Fraser — sitting in the High Court’s Queen’s Bench Division in Manchester — booted out Blacker’s claim against the Law Society, ruling that there was “no serious issue to be tried”.

Blacker was attempting to restrain the release of the six closed files containing information in relation to him and his charity organisation the Joint Armed Forces Legal Advocacy Service (JAFLAS). The files are currently held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

In late 2014 information regarding JAFLAS was the subject of a freedom of information (FOI) request by a member of the public only known as YZ. The Law Society — which is not a public body for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act — referred the issue to an independent adjudicator, who upheld the requests, but only to a limited extent.

Sensitive personal data and correspondence not directly relating to Blacker in his capacity as a charity and/or company director was to be redacted. However according to the judgment Blacker argued:

The information remaining still identifies him and that he would and does find that embarrassing, and if disclosure occurs it will unleash a torrent of adverse, embarrassing and misconceived comment, and cause mischief.

The judge conceded that Blacker may be correct on this point, but that did not give the solicitor-advocate a cause of action. Blacker also attempted to invoke article 6 and article 8 of the Human Rights Act. This did not go down well with Fraser. He said:

Article 6, the right to a fair trial, is not even remotely engaged, as there are no civil or criminal proceedings relating to the closed files. The failure by the Law Society to deal with the closed files as Dr Blacker seeks, and/or the failure by the Law Society to deliver them up to him, does not constitute an interference with his private or family life under article 8.

As well as the injunction, Blacker also demanded that he be sent all the files held against him by the SRA. Once again Fraser didn’t agree, continuing:

The closed files are the property of the SRA and were created by the SRA as part of its function as the regulator of the profession. Dr Blacker has no proprietary right in them. I fail to see how in those circumstances he can have any right to delivery up of the closed files.

Blacker’s allegations that the Law Society had acted in “bad faith” were described as “patently bad and not supported in the evidence”. Furthermore, Blacker suggested that the Law Society was in fact in breach of an existing injunction. However Fraser was quick to point out no such injunction existed.

As a result, Blacker’s attempt to seek interim relief failed.

Additional amusing titbits from the judgment include a lengthy analysis of Blacker’s name and titles. Fraser points out that Blacker — who sometimes refers to himself as “The Rt. Hon Lord Harley of Counsel” — does not appear on the current list of members of the Privy Council either under Blacker or Harley. Fraser refers to him as “Dr Blacker” throughout his judgment.

It was also a big day for Legal Cheek who is mentioned twice in the High Court judgment. Back in 2014, Legal Cheek discovered that redacted files published by the Law Society and relating to Blacker could actually be viewed by simply highlighting the text. The judgment said:

He (Blacker) came across this through a legal news website called Legal Cheek. Those who operate this online publication had discovered both the publication of the schedule, and that the redaction had been done incompetently. If anyone were to download the schedule and change the background colour, the “redacted” text could be read in the usual way. Legal Cheek informed the online community that this could be done, and this caused a degree of internet curiosity and comment.

As news broke of the result a spokesperson for the SRA told Legal Cheek:

We welcome the judgment, which agrees to strike out the claim as we requested. Mr Justice Fraser also recognised that the files requested by Dr Blacker belong to us and he has no claim to them. We are sorry that information was published without being properly redacted. We have already reviewed our processes for responding to freedom of Information requests and we are keeping them under review. We will look at the detail of the judgement and see if any further changes need to be made.

Blacker — who hit headlines back in August 2014 after an in-court dusting down by judge David Wynn Morgan for “looking like something out of Harry Potter” — currently faces a number of disciplinary charges brought by the SRA. Having failed to attend two case management hearings so far, Blacker is next due before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal on 12 July.


Rt. Hon Lord Harley

I crafted the hook, moulded the sinker and attached it to a very long piece of heavy duty fishing rope, opened my big mouth and swallowed.



In for a massive comment thread.



Is there no space for eccentrics in this profession?



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


Deranged lefties everywhere

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


the disgruntled

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



naaaaa cant be arsed.



I kinda love him! He’s basically Wagner (XFactor) of the legal profession! …



Complete twat.

Boot him out.



Legal cheek, it was a certain ‘Anonymous’ who pointed out the results of this judgement at 3pm in the comment section of a previous article!

Can’t even be bothered to do your own research now.



Boot Legal Cheek out.



A comment by “anonymous” in which article???



Another article wasted on this waste of oxygen and sad excuse for a “lawyer”. Also they need to stop referring to him “Lord Harley of Counsel” – just feeding into his narcissism, the dickhead did not earn the title of Lord and doesn’t deserve the recognition.



Or the description “of Counsel”…



Yeah that’s despicable as well.



He’s a solicitor advocate, are we meant to be surprised?


Not Amused

When this affair is concluded I very much hope that serious questions are asked of both the SRA and the Law Society.

Mr Blacker is a symptom. He should not become the main attraction.



I am in tears over here – he didn’t focus upon or quote the American Cyanamid authority in his injunction application!!!!!


Bar Student

What an idiot. Of course he won’t know American Cyanamid, he did the LPC.


Lord Harley of Counsel

Oh no I didn’t.

I went down the Legal Executive route.



You went to Court on an interim injunction application and didn’t know this would be the first case a Judge would be looking at? So much for being a Grade A civil trial Counsel or whatever made up accolade you say you have.



I am currently doing the LPC and we have covered these guidelines, although only on an elective….



er- i hope ur not suggesting that solicitors dont know Cyanamid.

this chap is an example of a muppet, not of a lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

Enjoy time as a Bar Student, your time at the Bar itself may be limited with that kind of attitude son



Bright enough to get a place at law school (as was Mr Blacker), but perhaps you haven’t grasped where your instructions will normally emanate from.


John smith

Just think if he had been awarded £50k then he only would have needed £61k more to account for the missing £111,000



I would love it if his strategy to make up the black hole in the client account was just to sue the SRA for the amount missing.



Disappointing that the court called him “Dr” and not “Mr” Blacker…


Steamy Rob

Fat idiot.



Some hating-ass haters in these comments, let the Lord do his cape-wearing, title inventing thing.



“let the Lord do his cape-wearing, title inventing thing.” YES but not with a practicing certificate and the ability to con people into thinking he’s a ‘top lawyer’.


Lord Lyle of Counsel.

Point of order. As a solicitor advocate with higher rights of audience, I may give counsel, in any way a barrister can, whether, by , skele, legal opinion, oral or in writing, or by oral advocacy in or out of court.

Accordingly I am perfectly entitled to refer to my self as counsel or wear a wig should I choose, but I never have until now.



That’s, great, news, for, you, mate.


A little bit gimpy

“Alan makes my arthritis feel better”- Reita Clark MBE, Chair, Law Centres Federation.

I shit you not -


Rt Hon Lord Babbington-Smyth CBE, KG, PC, CH, JP, QC

Had a look he also has a profile of Paul Daubney RN who he claims is: “the inspiration for so much of the work that JAFLAS undertakes” however, in describing the work Paul Daubney did he states: “Paul was a winchman and worked on recovering injured collegues from the freezing waters around the Faulkland Islands”. So in describing the work of his inspiration he has made two spelling errors, including one of the place where his inspiration worked, hardly the work of a ,according to his website, “genius”.


Lord Harley

You all owe me £50 bijilliontrillion dollars for being dicks



‘Interim relief’ – isn’t that what you get at dodgy massage parlours?


Lord Lyle of Rockall

I wouldn’t know Diogenes. But apparently Rio’s massage parlour on the Kentish Town Rd, London does it, according to one of my opponents in a rather sordid case.


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