Membership criteria'... the same underlying principles (of suitability for membership) apply to conduct both pre-admission and post-admission. It would be irrational to hold that a different test applies where matters come to the Law Society's attention pre-admission from the case where those same matters come to its attention post-admission. Whether they are discovered pre or post-admission the question remains the same, namely whether the relevant evidence demonstrates that the person concerned is a fit person to be a solicitor. It would make no sense for the Law Society to admit an individual whose conduct, if assessed by the SDT, would lead to them being struck off the roll as being an individual who was not a fit and proper person to be a solicitor. ... In the light of Bolton v Law Society  1 All ER 512 and the summary of its application in Wilson it is clear that, when assessing whether an individual has the requisite character and suitability to be admitted as either a student member of the Law Society or a solicitor, it will be rare for a person with convictions for dishonesty to be found to have the requisite character. Personal mitigation, while a factor for consideration, will not weigh heavily in carrying out that assessment exercise. Much depends, however, upon the nature of any dishonesty and rather different considerations seem to me to apply in the absence of dishonesty: see eg Shuttari v The Law Society  EWHC 1484 (Admin). I should also add that Bolton does allow for the possibility that exceptional circumstances might exist which would justify an individual being re-admitted to the profession following a strike-off, even after findings of dishonesty.’ Per Sir Anthony Clarke MR in Jideofo v The Law Society  EW Misc 3 (EWLS).
Categories: 4th Edition, Chapter 16, Updates