The Bolton principles
The statements of principle set out by the Master of the Rolls in Bolton v The Law Society  2 All ER 286 remain good law, subject to this qualification. In applying the Boltonprinciples the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal must also take into account the rights of the solicitor under articles 6 and 8 of the Convention. It is now an overstatement to say that "a very strong case" is required before the court will interfere with the sentence imposed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The correct analysis is that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal comprises an expert and informed tribunal, which is particularly well placed in any case to assess what measures are required to deal with defaulting solicitors and to protect the public interest. Absent any error of law, the High Court must pay considerable respect to the sentencing decisions of the tribunal. Nevertheless if the High Court, despite paying such respect, is satisfied that the sentencing decision was clearly inappropriate, then the court will interfere. It should also be noted that an appeal from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to the High Court normally proceeds by way of review; see CPR rule 52.11(1): Law Society v Salsbury  EWCA Civ 1285.
See also Solicitors Regulation Authority v Dennison  EWHC 29.
6th Edition » | Chapter 14