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Effects: disciplinary finding in civil proceeding: Simms v Conlon & Anor [2006] EWCA Civ 1749

Where the issues in a civil action overlap to a significant degree with those in disciplinary proceedings (in this case a finding of dishonesty) and it would be expensive and time-consuming to require the parties to prove them in the normal way they may be admissible in the proceedings. In the circumstances it was not an abuse of the process of the court for the subject of the disciplinary proceedings to deny its conclusions. Ward LJ observed, ‘When deciding whether it is an abuse of the process for him to continue to demand that the case brought by others in a different context be proved, it seems to me that the essential question is whether it is more unfair on the claimants to require them to prove very serious charges of fraud (or to pick the one case of dishonesty which may be most easily and cheaply proved) than it is unfair on the defendant to prevent him altogether from defending himself in these new and unconnected proceedings.’ (Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Bairstow [2003] 3 WLR 841 and Hollington v F.Hewthorn & Co Ltd [1943] 2 All ER 35 inapplicable in the circumstances.)


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