Disciplinary hearing gets underway despite no show from Alan Blacker
The controversial solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker — aka Lord Harley — has failed to attend a disciplinary hearing, as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) claim “he lives in a fantasy world”.
Blacker — who faces eight separate charges of misconduct — was due to attend the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in Central London this morning.
With 10am coming and going and Blacker’s dedicated conference room sitting empty, the three person tribunal heard arguments from the SRA as to why the hearing should go ahead in Blacker’s absence.
Fountain Court Chambers’ Edward Levey, on behalf of the SRA, told the tribunal that that Blacker had made a number of unsuccessful attempts to have the hearing moved to Manchester. As well as claiming to be “extremely ill” and therefore unable to travel to London, he also claimed the tribunal had “cynically” scheduled the hearing to clash with his birthday.
After a 30 minute adjournment, the tribunal concluded that it was satisfied that Blacker had been properly served with the relevant documentation by the SRA and furthermore he had sufficient notice of the impending hearing dates. In addition, the tribunal stated that it had seen no evidence in relation to Blacker’s serious medical condition and quickly dismissed the point regarding his birthday.
Opening the SRA case against Blacker, Levey explained that the charges against him fell into three categories. One: Breaches of accountancy rules. Two: Publishing misleading and inaccurate information regarding qualifications, associations and memberships. Three: Failing to comply with the SRA.
The Tribunal heard how Blacker had claimed to not only have a DPhil from Trinity College Oxford and a first-class honours degree from the University of Huddersfield, but also accreditation in Denmark, Ireland and Canada.
Blacker — who practises as a solicitor at a charity he set up called the Joined Armed Forces Legal Advocacy Services (JAFLAS) — claimed to have memberships to various organisations including the Institute of Mental Health Practitioners and also HSE accredited boiler engineers.
According to the SRA, Blacker did not obtain an honours degree, merely a pass, and nobody from Oxford University, Cambridge University or Trinity College, Dublin has any record of his attendance there. According to submissions heard this morning, Blacker is now claiming that his DPhil was obtained from an institution in Canada.
Blacker — who first shot to fame after an in court dust-up with Judge Wynn Morgan — is living in a “fantasy world” according to the SRA. But at least he’s having a good time.
The hearing continues with a decision expected tomorrow. Blacker denies any wrongdoing.
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