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SRA closes immigration firm following urgent injunction fiasco


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Consilium Chambers LLP, an East London law firm undertaking immigration work, has been shut down by the Solicitor Regulation Authority only weeks after fierce judicial criticism of the firm’s handling of an urgent immigration injunction and its aftermath.

One of the two partners, Mr Benny Thomas, was recently the subject of the Wrath of Thomas in a judgment not available on BAILII but reported in the mainstream press. The Telegraph reported that he was found to have misled the court in an urgent injunction application by claiming only to have been briefed to make the application that day when his firm has been acting for several months. The firm effectively waived the possibility of giving any possible reason for this by failing to attend several hearings. Benny Thomas is reported to have been found in contempt of court for his failures and the court made good on its promise in earlier cases that it would refer appropriate cases to the SRA.

The intervention information on the SRA website states that:

there is reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of Mr Thomas in connection with his practice.

The firm has been shut down and Legal Futures report that the practicing certificates for both partners in the firm have been suspended.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


6 Responses

  1. I know there are plenty of bent British trained lawyers, but nevertheless I think the SRA should look at the QLTT which, in my view, makes it far too easy for those with law degrees from other jurisdictions to qualify as solicitors in the UK and then to set up firms.

    It’s a ludicrous anomaly when you consider how insular and closed the profession is to would-be UK trained lawyers trained -many of whom fail to secure training contracts and spend years working as paralegals.

    1. The SRA have done and the QLTT is being phased out. It has been replaced by the QLTS and it involves passing up to three exams

    2. To my shame, I’m not quite sure whether this is ironic or not. Either way, it surely gets the ‘comment of the decade’ award. Bloody foreigners, coming over here and stealing our jobs… as immigration lawyers.