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Court document reveals SRA was left over £17,700 out of pocket after Lord Harley redaction blunder

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Exclusive: Regulator was unable to recover costs after ex-solicitor advocate’s unsuccessful injunction bid

harley

A court document has revealed the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) was left more than £17,700 out of pocket after it published improperly redacted material relating to Lord Harley.

The ruling — handed down by Mr Justice Fraser — relates to Lord Harley’s unsuccessful legal attempt to prevent files containing information about him being made public.

Back in April, Fraser — sitting in the High Court’s Queen’s Bench Division in Manchester — booted out Harley’s claim against the SRA, ruling that there was “no serious issue to be tried”.

Now, thanks to a freedom of information (FOI) request, Legal Cheek can reveal the SRA — despite winning the case — incurred costs of £17,781 defending the injunction and was unable to recover a penny. The judge noted that this was a departure from the normal rule, but then went on to explain why he’d taken this unusual step.

According to the ruling — in which the defendant is named as the Law Society due to the SRA not being a legal entity — Fraser claims Harley could have been “provoked” into taking legal action after an embarrassing redaction blunder by the regulator.

First pointed out by Legal Cheek last summer, redacted documents relating to Harley could be viewed in full if downloaded and highlighted.

According Fraser, the relationship between Harley — whose real name is Alan Blacker — and the regulator was “further inflamed” when he was given just 48 hours to comment on certain documents prior to publication. As a result Fraser made “no order as to costs”, leaving the SRA to pick up a tab of over £17,700.

A spokesperson for the SRA said:

As we said at the time, we were 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 welcomed the original judgment, which agreed 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 had no claim to them.

Back in July, Blacker was removed from the solicitors’ roll after the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) found that he had, among other things, made “inaccurate and misleading” statements about his academic qualifications and professional memberships. On this occasion Blacker was hit with an eye-watering costs order of £86,000.

Read the ruling in full below:

38 Comments

Anonymous

Cretins.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

“First pointed out by Legal Cheek commenter last summer”

Fixed that for you.

(22)(1)

Anonymous

Haha!!!!!

Seeeeeee????,,

I told you I would be vindicated and have the last laugh!!!!!!

(0)(4)

Anonymous

This post was redacted because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

Quite a small victory by Blacker in the grand scheme of things.

(8)(0)

Ron Probo

Had he pleaded and argued his case properly, he might well have got something out of this. Both parties came out of it looking foolish – and the profession ended up £18,000 worse off.

(0)(0)

Anon

This is a textbook example of why lawyers should think twice before tackling “a man of straw”. It’s taken years to shut this awkward charlatan down, and, as by his own admission, Blacker is stony broke, it’ll have costed the profession over £100,000 to do so (to date).

Not exactly a glowing example of regulation in action. As Blacker seems to have vacated his “chambers” in Rochdale, perhaps the SRA can recoup some of its horrendous losses, and demonstrate some real-world commercial awareness, by relocating from their swanky London offices to the sunlit uplands of Greater Manchester.

(8)(2)

Wendy

I thought he’d vacated his sanity, or indeed his pants.

(4)(0)

Wendy's mate

He still has the Roller.

It’s parked outside Steamy Rob’s.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

It’s a steamroller!

(2)(0)

Not Amused

YOU NEED TO MAKE THE SRA EXPLAIN HOW OR WHY THEY ADMITTED HIM.

Everything else is theatre. So keep asking. Keep publishing their refusals to respond. Investigate. Create petitions

This is the real story.

(17)(1)

Anonymous

I agree. I’m a long time follower but a first time commenter on this sorry shambles. But htf did he get admitted? When will this be investigated? Heads should roll.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Can you tell if a solicitor is going to be incompetent before he’s admitted?

(2)(0)

DaveKafka

Probably not, but you can check whether he has lied about or exaggerated his qualifications when applying for admission.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Who says he did? If he passed the GDL/LPC/whatever then why would he need to give any other detail?

You’d think that in however many years of his practising someone else would have complained that he was numptious. Evidently not.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

To get complaints one needs to do cases in court. The fake Lord never did. He had no work and the few cases he did, he blagged his way into by lying about his qualifications and experience.

He didn’t practice for long and did precisely three cases in the higher courts – one appeal against conviciton and two trials for Wojcicki. The appeal again st conviction was unopposed and he made a pig’s breakfast of Wojcicki’s death by dangerous driving trial.

A complete wankbubbble.

(1)(2)

DaveKafka

Erm, because doing those courses is not enough to entitle you to be admitted as a solicitor or obtain higher rights of audience.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Yup. They could have checked his claimed work experience that he used to waive the need for a training contract. That might have been a dishonesty clue.

(0)(0)

Da

What efforts are you making in that direction, NotAmused?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This clown has occupied a disproportionate amount of column inches.

He was a wholly incompetent lawyer, bordering on the dangerous. He had not the slightest inkling of ethics or how to behave.

He repeatedly brought the legal profession into disrepute.

His striking off is no loss.

The disgrace is that he ever got on the roll in the first place.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

His Lordship was a fanntastic counsel ,and you vultures are going to drive him to an earley grave .

This final victory means that he’s won at last.

Wheres the presumption of innocence in all this? he shouldnt have to prove his credentials ,if the SRA had a case against him they would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he didnt have them ,which they failed to do.

(0)(14)

Anonymous

The fake Lord Harley speaks from the legal grave.

He was probably the worst advocate ever to (dis)grace the profession.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

The presumption of innocence exists until PROVED GUILTY, you nitwit. The SDT found all charges proved, bar one. “Fanntastic (sic) counsel” my arse. I agree there needs to be an inquiry into how this fantasist was admitted – there are clearly loopholes in which a horse and cart trotted through, both of which were given higher audience rights.

(3)(1)

I HAVE KNOWN YOU YEARS

Hi Alan

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The trouble with Blacker is that he is so full of self importance that he doesn’t realise how utterly useless he is in court.

When he appeared on Parking Wars it showed what a crap advocate and lawyer he was, as he tried to import mens rea into his parking offence.

Knobtrumpet.

(3)(0)

Gus the Snedger

Got a link? That sounds like comedy gold!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

PS, was “Knobtrumpet” an epithet aimed at Blacker, or were you just signing off?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Alan Blacker is the knobtrumpet.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is a knobtrumpet worse than a brickwallop ?

(1)(0)

Jeff

More clickbat from this place there really is no need to Carry on the harrassment . Nobody. will even admit that Alan has won on this instance I wonder if when he wins a few more times then people will start to see what’s really going on you cant give one side of the story forever

(1)(4)

DaveKafka

How does being struck out (and then struck off) count as “winning”?

What is the other side of the story? Who is going to tell it?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Alan was always a winer ,unlike many of you hangers on and flunkeys to a disgraced system that ,ultimatly ,he has won aggainst.

Its the biassed anti-northern ,anti disabled prejudiced system that will fall- not Alan!!!

(0)(5)

Anonymous

Whiner is the correct spelling Alan, not winer.

(0)(0)

Snatch

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

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I wonder if they know that his roller is in Middleton ?

(0)(0)

Petit Boudin Blanc

The roller – if he actually owns it – is worth about 6,000 quid maximum. If he’s not maintaining it then the value is dropping fast. It was always just a prop for this twat.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

When a twat falls from Grace he loses his props.

If it is his roller then he told another whopper when he said he was a man of straw. Fancy Alan Blacker telling a lie.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I WIN!

I WIN!!!!!!

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.