High Court issues warrant for prominent solicitor’s arrest

The High Court today issued a warrant for the arrest of a prominent solicitor after she failed to attend a hearing to answer allegations of contempt of court.

Soophia Khan, 41, was automatically suspended in August after the Solicitors Regulation Authority intervened in relation to her Leicester practice Sophie Khan & Co Limited over suspicions of dishonesty. She later announced that the firm had been taken over by a charity called Just for Public Ltd (JFP), adding: ‘Client work continues as normal’.

Khan is a former chair of the Law Society Civil Justice Committee. 

The SRA, which earlier this month obtained an injunction to stop Khan ‘unlawfully’ acting as a lawyer through JFP, alleged Khan was in contempt of court by failing to comply with two High Court orders requiring her to deliver up client files.

Khan sought an adjournment of today’s committal hearing, claiming that she needed ‘emergency elective surgery’ – which Mr Justice Fancourt said was ‘a contradiction in terms’. She also said that she needed legal representation, although the SRA’s barrister Rupert Allen said Khan had previously been ‘categorical’ in saying she could represent herself.

The judge said he had formed the view that ‘she will not voluntarily attend the court based on everything I have seen of her over the last month’. Fancourt said that the ‘only sensible option’ open to him was to issue a bench warrant, not backed for bail, to ‘have her arrested and brought to the court’. ‘It means she will be found and arrested and brought to the court,’ he added.

The court heard that the committal hearing may be heard on Friday, if Khan can be found and brought to the court.


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