SOLICITOR’S AGENT HAS NO RIGHT OF AUDIENCE AT STAGE 3 HEARING: COUNTY COURT DECISION CONSIDERED

“WAS THE SOLICITOR’S AGENT SUPERVISED BY AN AUTHORISED LITIGATOR?

The judge held:

Supervision must be distinguished from mere instruction. It involves close involvement such as a legal executive who has conduct of the case under the supervision of a principal solicitor.
There was no such relationship in existence between a solicitor’s agent and his agency or the solicitor who has instructed the agency.
The statute required that the supervision must be provided by the individual who is giving instructions. Any supervision by the manager of the agency would not suffice since they are not the same individual as the solicitor who is providing the instructions.”

Civil Litigation Brief

Who has a right of audience at a Stage 3 hearing? This issue has been considered in the county court and I am grateful to barrister Jonathan Dingle for sending me a copy of the decision of District Judge Peake in McShane -v- Lincoln (Birkenhead County Court 28th June 2016). click-here-to-see-case

“With the introduction of the CPR the demarcation between what is or is not a public hearing has become blurred and thus who may appear at such hearings unclear. There is currently some disquiet among those who have expended very considerably the necessary qualifications to exercise a right of audience that is being exercised regularly in breach of the regulations.”

THE CASE

The action was listed for a Stage 3 hearing under the MOJ portal scheme. The claimant was represented by a solicitor’s agent. The agent not being a solicitor but from an agency instructed by the claimant’s solicitor…

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