The Law Society has been refused permission to sell the family home of a Belfast solicitor whose debts are said to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
A High Court judge dismissed the regulatory body's application for an authorisation order in the case of John Bogue.
Mr Justice McCloskey ruled in favour of the solicitor's wife, Mary, based on her disclosure that he relinquished his half share in the south Belfast property back in 2002.
He held that the Society's arguments fell well short of justifying a rejection of Mrs Bogue's testimony.
The judge said: “In short, they are, in my view, eclipsed by her powerful and compellingly truthful sworn evidence. Having subjected her evidence to critical scrutiny, I fully accept her explanations for failing to explicitly assert her claims at an earlier stage.”
Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against Mr Bogue after the Society intervened in 2008. He was not struck off but faces restrictions as the result of an independent tribunal decision.
Bankruptcy proceedings were brought against him by HM Revenue and Customs but not pursued, the court heard.