Leading media lawyer to face SDT over alleged ‘offensive and profane’ comments on social media
Mark Lewis, a solicitor who undertook pioneering work in bringing phone-hacking claims against the News of the World, is being prosecuted by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority ('SRA') before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ('SDT') in respect of allegations that he posted 'offensive and profane' communications on social media.
It is alleged by the SRA that on 26 May 2017 Mr Lewis used his used his Facebook account to publicly post offensive and profane communications towards a third party and between the 12 July 2015 and 7 December 2016, and on dates unknown he used his Twitter account which identified him as a solicitor to publicly post offensive and profane communications
The allegations are subject to a hearing before the SDT and are as yet unproven. The notice published on the SRA's website, states that "...the SRA wishes to make it clear that it does not condone the actions of any individuals involved in exchanges with Mr Lewis on Twitter, during which Mr Lewis might have posted offensive and profane communications."
In a statement published in the Law Society Gazette, Mr Lewis was reported as saying "It would not be appropriate to comment save that I am defending these allegations. It is a matter of great principle that one can respond robustly to intimidating racist death threats.". London law firm Seddons confirmed that Mr Lewis had resigned his partnership.
In September 2017, the SRA published a guidance note to solicitors covering their communications following an increase in the number of complaints regarding inappropriate communications both in email and on social media (see our blog here).
Click here to find out how Brett Wilson regulatory solicitors can assist you if you are the subject of a SRA investigation.
Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.