Bowman vs. Fels Court Case Comments Essay

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CASE COMMENTS
Bowman v Fels [2005] EWCA Civ 226, [2005] 1 WLR 3083

It has been stated that “a person commits an offence if he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.” In Bowman v Fels, the courts concluded that this section of the act was not interpreted in a way by which it intended to cover or affect the ordinary conduct of litigation by legal professionals, which was the issue that arose here.

The facts of the case are somewhat straightforward. Jennifer Mary Bowman, the claimant, lived with the defendant, William John Fels, over a span of ten years between the
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They did not, during that period, inform Fels’ solicitors of the reasons of seeking an adjournment.

His Honour Judge Cowell found that Bowman’s solicitors were in the wrong for doing so. It was said that they should have rightfully explained to Fels' solicitors the reason by which they were seeking for an adjournment. Furthermore, their adamancy of refusing to prepare for trial whilst awaiting permission from NCIS was uncalled for. This is where we can begin to identify and analyse the various legal issues brought up here.

It has not been properly determined whether or not family lawyers can be found guilty for having committed the offences created by the section or whether charges brought against them for criminal liability would be deemed unsuccessful by virtue of the Act’s incompatibility with the privilege(s) given to the legal profession as well as the Human Rights Act 1998.

An issue to be determined here is whether or not section 328 objectively implied that a lawyer acting for a client in legal proceedings who discovers or suspects anything that may help or facilitate the proceeding should immediately notify NCIS of his suspicions so as to avoid being liable for the criminal offence of ‘… becoming concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.’ This issue was first addressed by Dame Elizabeth in 2004 that the person making a disclosure

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