Can solicitors who are probably dishonest continue to practise? The answer is that they can.

Unless it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a solicitor is a crook, it is not enough for the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to believe that he is probably a crook to find a charge of dishonesty proved.

The almost inevitable sanction of striking off cannot be applied if the charge is not proved to the criminal standard.

Michael Stacey appears in Solicitors Journal arguing: "Not only is the change to the civil standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings unlikely to result in more convictions, it is also a key differentiator marking out solicitors as trustworthy professionals".

A reasonable doubt is not good enough is available to read on the Solicitors Journal via subscription.

Michael is a senior associate in the litigation team. He undertakes a wide range of regulatory and commercial work for regulators, businesses, charities, other institutions and private clients.