The Court of Appeal (McCool v Monaghan [2017] IECA 129) has dismissed an appeal in respect of a complaint of professional misconduct against a solicitor, finding that the issues raised were “trifling and mundane” and that there was no evidence to support the allegations against the solicitor.

Background

The appellant’s engineering firm had been engaged in major litigation with a large multinational firm in the Irish courts since 2005. The appellant subsequently made a complaint to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal against the solicitor acting for the large multinational firm on a number of grounds, including allegations that the solicitor had deliberately or intentionally misled various parties involved as to the timing of a motion before the High Court .

The Tribunal found that there was no prima facie case of misconduct on the part of the respondent solicitor finding that the events described in relation to the various adjournments of the motion were not unusual in the operation of the High Court motion lists. Mr McCool appealed the decision to the High Court, where the appeal was dismissed by Kearns P ([2015] IEHC 700). Mr McCool subsequently appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal decision

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant’s appeal. The Court found that the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the High Court had not erred in any way in concluding that the solicitor had no case to answer.

The Court stated that the allegations of misconduct against the solicitor related to matters of no particular consequence insofar as they related to the listing of hearings before the High Court and that there was no evidence to support any allegation of impropriety against the solicitor.