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Briefcase-on-a-train junior is to appeal strike-off
Junior solicitor struck off for leaving briefcase of confidential documents on train represented herself at hearing

22 Mar 2021 / employment Print

Briefcase-on-a-train junior is to appeal strike-off

A junior solicitor struck off the England and Wales roll after she left confidential documents on a train has won the right to have her case re-heard by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

The case against Claire Matthews will now be re-heard after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) agreed that her appeal should be allowed and the original decision quashed.

Financial support of over £13,000 was raised for the appeal through crowd-funding.

The case caused concern because Matthews had to represent herself at the initial hearing, after leaving a briefcase of client papers on a train, having told her office it was at home.


Matthews said: “I am so very overwhelmed by the support and generous donations I have received over the last year. I could not have envisaged, when I started this appeal, that the decision at the original tribunal could be successfully challenged so as to give me a chance to clear my name on an equal footing with the SRA.”

The SRA's decision to allow an appeal came after Matthews’ legal team obtained and shared expert medical evidence.

The legal team said the case raised significant questions about how allegations of misconduct were dealt with, in the context of mental ill-health.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland