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Lord Harley: You be the Judge.

Published on June 8, 2016

Lord Harley KGCSt.J. DPhil.


Senior counsel in civl and criminal proceedings with Grade A and Grade 4
accreditation. (Highest)

It is now just over a month before the scheduled hearing


of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in which they will
hear allegations made by the Solicitors Regulation
Authority against Lord Harley.
Now its your turn to be the judge - you decide if the tribunal are being fair when they
refuse to provide reasonable adjustments and you decide if the SRA are being
vindictive.

This fiasco began five years ago when Lord Harley applied for exemption from a training
contract, backed up by evidence that he had sufficient experience and especially court time
and case management experience to negate the requirements for a two training contract.
Notwithstanding Lord Harley's automatic exemption from a training contract Lord Harley
volunteered himself for scrutiny by the SRA. That application was unsuccessful but on appeal
the independent review board criticised the SRA for overlooking what they refer to as an
obvious case for exemption. Stating that "the test is whether amongst other things, is the
candidate of exceptional public benefit - we think he most certainly is." Lord Harley provided
evidence which was appraised as being fifteen years of qualifying legal experience, as
opposed to the two required for exemption from a training contract.
Subsequently Lord Harley won two further
appeals against decisions by the SRA and this
has increased the antagonism between the SRA and Lord Harley.
You will no doubt be aware of the incident
with a certain Welsh judge were Lord Harley
was criticised for his appearance. Albeit Lord
Harley had appeared before five other judges
in that court and Judge Morgans superior

judge the same week; the Recorder of Cardiff,


none of whom made any comments about
Lord Harleys appearance at all.
It was accepted by the complaints committee
that Lord Harley had at no time been criticised
for his conduct of proceedings and that his
behaviour throughout was completely
professional; even when exposed to prolonged
and rigorous scrutiny.
The judicial complaints body ruled that the
judges behaviour was irrelevant,
unnecessary and unprofessional and ordered
that formal words of advice be given to him.
None of this information has been published
on their website; however it does exist in the
official record. It never saw the pages of the
press either.
Lord Harley did not wear any medals or
ribbons or badges, the transcript confirms that
one emblem was worn on the bottom of a
sleeve of Lord Harleys gown, out of sight and
a service bar was worn in the correct place, in
good order and with permission. Lord Harley
did not wear a barristers gown, he wore a
solicitors gown and wig with tabs as defined
in the court dress order. Do you think a senior
judge like the Recorder of Cardiff would have
permitted anything less or different? The
judge picked on Lord Harley for making him
apologise during the trial for an outburst
which he apologised in front of the jury for
making, then got Lord Harley back for it at
the end of the trial.

Lord Harley has run the charity JAFLAS for over 20 years providing help to the vulnerable
and those who have needed assistance in presenting or defending civil cases. Lord Harley has
even appeared in the magistrates court by permission of the magistrates in representing
vulnerable people especially those with mental health and learning disabilities. All before
qualifying as a solicitor advocate with higher rights in both civil and criminal proceedings.
When Lord Harley registered the charity (even though it was not legally necessary for him to
do so) it was to encapsulate an in-house law firm bearing his name in accordance with the
regulations laid down by the SRA and after two years of negotiation and agreements having
been reached with his regulator. All of this was agreed in advance with the SRA under long
established rules governing charity law firms.
In the 20 odd years that the charity's been operating it has represented over 10,000
individuals and has suffered no complaints. Lord Harley has been complemented by several
judges on his conduct of proceedings and his helpful attitude towards the tribunal's and
courts, always going the extra mile to assist the tribunal or court and regularly by doing work
which ought to have been done by his opponent.
The tribunal was instructed by the SDT to pursue three allegations and it was not until
proceedings had actually begun that the SRA decided that they did not have a strong enough
case to bring an action and decided to instruct forensic accountants to attend at the offices of
the law firm.
Having conducted thorough investigations into the files they then raised three allegations of
breaching the solicitors accounts rules. One for not producing account for the firm, which
the firm does quarterly, one for not producing a client account accountants report, which is
nonsense and one for not managing office accounts properly, despite having three qualified
senior law firm managers on the board of trustees.
The SRA claim that the law firm has never produced accounts and does not do so in
accordance with the regulations: this is despite having been provided with five years worth
of published accounts, quarterly management accounts and HMRC returns all of which are
public record.
An additional allegation of failing to cooperate with the regulator was added for good
measure because having spent nine months sending copies of documents assisting the SRA in
providing over three formal responses to questions during this witch hunt Lord Harley
became exasperated saying "I have provided you with every document you have asked for
and more besides, I have answered every question and I am convinced you are just pursuing
me for less than professional reasons, you are harassing me and pursuing a vendetta."
Despite having twice approved Lord Harley's letterhead, because he sent it to them for
verification, they then criticised it for being misleading. Outrageously the first demand that
was made was for a copy of Lord Harley's practising certificate, this is a document issued by
the very people asking for it! The SRA then demanded copies of Lord Harley's higher rights
of audience certificates, again certificates issued by the very people asking for them. Lord
Harley then received a letter confirming that these documents did not need to be produced as
they had been independently verified after making back room enquiries.

Having spent over 12 months dealing with the SRA Lord Harley complained to the
independent complaint review service who ordered the SRA to apologise for its behaviour
towards Lord Harley this has never been taken up by the press.
1. The evidence of Lord Harley is simple, easy to follow, articulate and precise, it is
supported by witness evidence from nine witnesses whose evidence is clear,
precise and unequivocal. The bundle of exhibits are relevant, detailed and
precise and collectively dispose of every single argument made by the applicant;
the applicant will be left embarrassed and without cause for action, as we stated
at the very start of this fiasco; what will also become clear is the endless bad faith
under which this witch-hunt has escalated.

There has only been one side of this case advanced by the press and by one prepubescent
journalist, though the newspapers then regurgitated what he has published. His research was
ill-advised and full of horrendous errors. In addition the independent press complaints
organisation even though Lord Harley complained that they had not published one word of
his statements to the press failed to uphold Lord Harley's complaint that they had been biased
in the research and reporting. Not one single word of Lord Harley's comments to the press
has been published. Accordingly Lord Harley no longer speaks to the press.
This whole fiasco has been propelled by the fact that Lord Harley is renowned for
challenging even the most difficult of cases and bringing justice out of cases no one else
wants to take on. Lord Harley has brought appeal proceedings in the High Court three years
out of time and won.
The main thrust of the allegations against Lord Harley is that his qualifications have been
manufactured or enhanced; of course Lord Harley has provided evidence of his qualifications
which have stood up to the closest scrutiny and have been independently verified by two
independent organisations notwithstanding Lord Harley is a recognised expert in several
fields of science quite apart from the law. This expertise is well known because it has
developed over 20 years of published work.
Lord Harley has been disabled for over 20 years and in 2014 suffered two major medical
incidents after lengthy car journeys. As result of developing two pulmonary embolisms his
two consultants recommended strongly that he does not undertake any lengthy journeys.
The Equality Bench Book tells tribunals that he should make every effort to accommodate
respondents or a defendant in proceedings so that justice may be seen to be done and to give
the respondents or defendant every reasonable adjustment so that they may fully engage in
the proceedings. Despite this the tribunal have turned down five requests for the hearing to
take place in Manchester despite having been provided with two fully pleaded medical
reports.
You might ask yourself the question why then are they taking such a stance especially since
the Law Society regularly hold meetings in Manchester with members of the profession in a
barristers chambers close to the center of Manchester and when the Bar Disciplinary Board
have held hearings in Oldham just 4 miles from Lord Harleys home, in order to
accommodate a disabled barrister. The General Medical Council and the Royal College of

Veterinary Surgeons along with many other regulators bend over backwards to assist
defendants in proceedings and especially the disabled.
But the SRA has held an ambivalent and bombastic approach from the outset.
Lord Harley said in his last publication that it was in his mind that the SRA and the SDT did
not want Lord Harley to attend the hearing because his evidence, which includes witness
evidence from nine witnesses, will demolish the evidence provided by witnesses put up by
the SRA. Many of the witnesses produced by the SRA give completely irrelevant evidence,
and they will be embarrassed when they give that evidence either by documents produced by
those organisations which produce evidence or by witness evidence confirming their
testimony is misguided.
The entire case has been described independently as a witch hunt, flowing from five years of
antagonism by three members of the SRA staff. They describe in their own words Lord
Harley's firm as an unusual practice and it certainly is. They simply cannot understand why
Lord Harley practices for free, but that doesn't mean it is unlawful or unprofessional.
Up and down the country, Law Centre's provide free advice and representation to clients and
they are funded by the Legal Aid. Lord Harley does exactly the same work, but in areas
where there is no legal aid such as crime, contract law, consumer law, welfare benefits
appeals and etc.
Lord Harleys law firm is entitled to recover costs from its opponents when it wins civil cases
and from central funds when it wins criminal cases and it does so, on a prescribed route
which is closely monitored and regulated by the judiciary and government officers. All these
costs can be seen going into the office account and then being spent on overheads and
expenses. There have been no complaints from clients about client money. Lord Harley
receives no income from the charity at all.
In the 20 years of practice there has never
been a client complaint a judicial complaint or
adverse comment by a Judge, tribunal
chairman or any of the regulators which
manage the charity's affairs; including
Companies House, the Charity Commission
and HMRC. None of which have made any
adverse steps towards a charity nor even
commented in a derogatory fashion.
So you be the judge, a tribunal that wont allow a disabled respondent to appear before it,
with witnesses and testimonial evidence along with strict physical evidence. Who is being
unprofessional?
The tribunal deliberately listed the hearing on Lord Harleys birthday, coincidence? Well it
was listed with less than seven days notice and Lord Harley received the notice of listing
before the request for dates of availability.

The tribunal has a practice direction called PD number 5, which allows the tribunal to dismiss
a case even when a party has filed a defence statement if they dont turn up to the hearing,
and Lord Harleys statement is over two hundred paragraphs long, with three hundred
exhibits and nine witnesses. You be the judge.
Lord Harleys commented "I am convinced if they wanted me to appear they would
make every effort to hear the matter in Manchester, it is a straightforward request and
will cost the same as hearing it in London. I have said before and Ill say it again, if they
wanted to deal with this properly they would make the gallows as comfortable as
possible."