Top lawyer fined £2,500 for offensive tweets in response to antisemitism
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Top lawyer fined £2,500 for offensive tweets in response to antisemitism

Mark Lewis ordered to pay penalty as well as £10,000 in costs by a panel, after being charged with posting “offensive and profane” messages online

Mark Lewis during this the 2018 Al-Quds Day parade, which he temporarily halted in his wheelchair
Mark Lewis during this the 2018 Al-Quds Day parade, which he temporarily halted in his wheelchair

The former director of UK Lawyers for Israel who brought the Al-Quds Day Rally to a halt earlier this year has been fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000 by a disciplinary panel.

Mark Lewis, a well-known media lawyer and wheelchair user, had the punishment handed down by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after he was charged with posting “offensive and profane” messages on social media.

Lewis, who recently told the BBC that he was making aliyah in response to antisemitism in the UK, is believed to have made the comments in an exchange on Twitter with people who hold far-right views.

Reacting to the news, he said: “The Solicitors Regulation Authority was faced with a choice between Holocaust-denying neo-Nazis and a Jewish lawyer. It chose to side with the neo-Nazis. It is on the wrong side of history. It is the Holocaust revisionists who are celebrating the verdict. That tells you all that you need to know.”

The hearing on Monday took place after the Authority took the unusual action of saying it “does not condone the actions of any individuals involved in exchanges with Mr Lewis on Twitter”.

Legal regulators take a famously dim view of solicitors’ social media commentary and accused Lewis of using his Twitter account “which publicly identified him as a solicitor to publicly post offensive and profane communications”.

Lewis, who represented Milly Dowler’s family in the phone-hacking scandal, is understood not to have been banned from working as a solicitor by the Tribunal, which last year suspended and sanctioned Majid Mahmood for antisemitic posts he made on Facebook.

In July, Lewis addressed a crowd in London, saying: “The words ‘Jeremy Corbyn is a racist’ are not defamatory, they’re true. If he wants to sue about that, he can do, but he is a racist, he leads a racist party and anyone who supports that party is supporting racism.”

A written judgement of Lewis’s tribunal will be uploaded to the Tribunal’s website in the coming weeks.

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