Former Law Society president cleared of misconduct

David Greene seeks to ‘draw a line’ under ten-year dispute after ruling by Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

A former Law Society president has been cleared of misconduct allegations levelled by a former client which prompted him to step down from the presidency early.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) dismissed the private prosecution of David Greene, senior partner of London firm Edwin Coe, yesterday (12 December).

Barring an appeal, the decision ends a ten-year dispute with businessman David Davies, whose claims Greene had given misleading evidence in court during a dispute over unpaid fees generated appeals in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

“These allegations have been running for 10 years,” Greene said in response to yesterday’s decision. “This is not the first time they have been rejected by the SDT, following similar rejections by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the police. There were no grounds for them at any point.

“As put to the Tribunal, I simply seek to draw a line under it and move on. I am grateful to the many who have had trust in me and supported me in this process.” 

The first round of the regulatory tussle began in March 2019, when Davies complained about Greene’s conduct to the SDT. The SDT referred the case to the SRA for further investigation, but it decided not to bring a case against Greene.

When the SDT subsequently dismissed Davies’ allegations against Greene, brought by way of a rare ‘lay application’, the businessman successfully appealed to the High Court to have the case reopened.

It was that ruling that prompted Greene to step down from the presidency in March 2021, seven months early, stating that the dispute had become a ‘distraction from my role representing the solicitors’ profession – at a time when it is facing a period of unprecedented challenge’.

He made way for Stephanie Boyce, the first black president to hold the role. 

Greene, who heads Edwin Coe's class action and finance litigation practice, held the seat for international practice on the Law Society's council and chaired the society's Brexit Task Force. 

The vast majority of cases before the SDT are brought by the SRA. In 2020, there were 10 ‘lay applications’ brought by members of the public, according to the SDT’s 2020 annual report.

After dismissing the allegations against Greene on Monday, the tribunal made no order for costs. 

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