Outcome of the Tribunal’s Application for the making of proposed new Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules

In May 2019 the Tribunal submitted its application for the making of its proposed new rules to the Legal Services Board (“LSB”). This application included a proposed move from the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) to the civil standard of proof (balance of probabilities). On 25 July 2019 the LSB approved the Tribunal’s application. 

Following the LSB’s approval the new Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2019 (“SDPR”) will be made as a Statutory Instrument and, further to consideration by the Joint Committee on Statutory instruments, it is anticipated they will come into force on 25 November 2019.

The LSB’s decision notice can be found here and this includes the version of the SDPR as approved by the LSB.  For the first time the SDPR will contain specific reference to the standard of proof which for proceedings issued on or after 25 November 2019 will be the civil standard.

Edward Nally, President of the Tribunal said:

“I am pleased that our new rules have been approved for implementation following  a robust process and detailed scrutiny . I believe that the new rules will provide a clear and firm foundation for our future casework at the Tribunal. We will apply the new standard of proof justly and with a keen appreciation of the cogency of evidence that  all those appearing before us are entitled to expect.”