A dissenting opinion at the SDT poses questions for Susanna Heley

Sexual misconduct cases continue to divide opinion within the profession and, recently, among the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) panel hearing such a case.

In SRA v Richard Daniel Smith, the respondent was accused of regularly touching the bottom of a relatively junior employee over the course of about five months.

The allegations were found not proved in a majority judgment. Unusually, the solicitor chair of the panel published a dissenting judgment.

As with most cases involving alleged sexual misconduct, the SDT was required to make findings based on its assessment of conflicting witness evidence of the respondent and his accuser. There was little written evidence and limited value in the evidence of ...

Susanna Heley

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