Belfast Telegraph

Law Society bids to sell suspended solicitor's practice

By Donna Deeney

A buyer is being sought for the legal practice of Londonderry solicitor Hilary Carmichael, who is currently under investigation by the Law Society.

The high-profile solicitor has offices in Derry’s Waterside area and in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, which were taken over by the Law Society in October after she was suspended from practice.

While the reason for her suspension has not been disclosed, the Law Society has asked for expressions of interest from members for her Waterside business.

The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a letter addressed to “potential bidders” for the business and assets of the legal practice.

It states: “In accordance with the powers of the Law Society set out at paragraph 23 of the Schedule 1 to the Solicitors (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, the Law Society wishes to consider offers for the acquisition of the business. Details of the business to be sold are set out in Schedule 1 hereto.”

The letter, which appeared in an in-house communication, said interested parties could have supervised access to the business “to review the assets for sale”.

“Following receipt of expressions of interest, the Law Society shall contact interested parties with details of the procedure for the disposal and acquisition of the business,” the letter adds.

It also says that the Law Society is under no obligation to accept the highest bid or any bid at all.

Following her suspension from practice in October, Ms Carmichael said that she would mount a vigorous challenge to the decision. She said: “I intend to fight this suspension with every ounce of energy I have. I am a fine lawyer and I have worked tirelessly to protect the rights of the vulnerable.”

When contacted yesterday, the Law Society would only confirm it was looking for a buyer for Ms Carmichael’s practice.

A spokesman said: “The Society can confirm that we are offering for sale the matters set out in our communication to our members.”

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