Geoffrey Williams QC represented a Solicitor, Mr GP, in proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Mr P admitted that he had been dishonest in backdating a witness statement in civil proceedings and asserting that the statement was in fact in time when it was not. Geoffrey was successful in proving that this was an isolated act in a long unblemished career and was committed at a time when Mr P was in a poor state of health.
Expert psychiatric evidence was called to support that of Mr P. The Tribunal was persuaded to impose a short suspension, accepting the submission that this was a truly exceptional case. This case was unusual in that striking off is regarded as almost inevitable where Solicitors have been dishonest, however the Tribunal held that due to the exceptional circumstances striking off would have been disproportionate in this instance.