Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
EU Settlement Scheme course now available FREE to members
Solicitor loses High Court appeal against immigration misconduct sanctions

Solicitor loses High Court appeal against immigration misconduct sanctions

The co-founder of an immigration law firm has failed in a High Court bid to overturn Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal sanctions for professional misconduct. Mr Justice Lavender rejected the appeal of Malik Mohammed Nazeer, a solicitor of over 21 years’ call, against a £20,000 fine and practice restrictions imposed by the tribunal last year. The case is Nazeer v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2019] EWHC 37 (Admin).

Nazeer and his brother, Malik Mohammed Saleem, practised as Malik & Malik. The firm’s caseload was 75-80% immigration work. As we reported in February 2018, the tribunal found that Malik & Malik had “facilitated the abuse of litigation” by bringing tactical judicial reviews designed to prevent claimants from being removed from the UK. Saleem, as head of the immigration department and found to be the more culpable of the two, was hit with an 18-month suspension.

Criminal specialist Nazeer was not suspended from practice, but sought to appeal his fine and practice restrictions. He argued that he was not responsible for the immigration side of the firm’s work, so it was unfair for him to be sanctioned for his brother’s failings.

But Lavender J pointed out that Nazeer was the overall Compliance Officer for Legal Practice at a firm that had three times been hauled over the coals in Hamid misconduct hearings. As such, there was no substance to the submission that

the Appellant “had no reason not to trust [his brother] to supervise [immigration] work efficiently.” On the contrary, the Appellant had every reason to believe that the immigration department, as supervised by his brother, was behaving improperly and that it was his duty as COLP to do something about that.

The judge went on to find that Nazeer had

failed to manage the firm adequately, despite the warnings which had been received; left the running of such cases entirely to his brother; and thereby permitted claims to be made which were totally without merit and an abuse of the process of the court.

Lavender J dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. When not writing about immigration law, CJ covers wider legal affairs at the website Legal Cheek and on Twitter: follow him @mckinneytweets.

Not yet a member?

Get unlimited access to articles, a thriving forum, free e-books, online training materials with downloadable training certificates, and much more.

Need to keep up-to-date on immigration, asylum and nationality law?

Sign up as a member from just £20 plus VAT per month

Join Now

Benefits Include

  • Unlimited access to all blog posts
  • Access to our busy forum
  • Free downloads of all our ebooks
  • Hundreds of hours of training courses