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Supreme Court of Denmark

Breach of the code of conduct for solicitors 
16-12-2015 

Case no. 253/2014
 

Judgment delivered on 16 December 2015


The Disciplinary Board of the Danish Bar and Law Society
vs.
Solicitor A


Solicitor A fined for breach of the code of conduct for solicitors, and no basis for reducing the penalty on the grounds of the long processing time in the Disciplinary Board of the Danish Bar and Law Society

Solicitor A had instructed solicitor B to file a bankruptcy petition against solicitor C based on solicitor A's alleged claim against solicitor B after the end of their collaboration. The bankruptcy petition was filed on 1 July 2010 despite solicitor C's objections against solicitor A's claim, and solicitor C filed a counterclaim. The bankruptcy petition against solicitor C was rejected on 29 October 2010.

In August 2010, solicitor C complained to the Disciplinary Board of the Danish Bar and Law Society against both solicitor A and solicitor B, who were both fined DKK 20,000 for breach of the code of conduct for solicitors.

Solicitor A brought the Disciplinary Board's decision before the courts, claiming, among other things, that he had not breached the code of conduct, and that the penalty should in any case be reduced on the grounds of the Board's long processing time of 22 months.

The Supreme Court agreed with the Disciplinary Board, the District Court and the High Court that solicitor A had breached the code of conduct, and that the penalty should be assessed at DKK 20,000.

The Supreme Court stated – as opposed to the District Court and the High Court – that on a general assessment and considering the motives behind the code of conduct for solicitors and the sanctions for breach, there was no basis for reducing the penalty on the grounds of the extensive processing time.

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