The High Court has effectively banned a struck-off solicitor from continuing to bring "vexatious" claims.
The improbably named Anal Sheikh has had a colourful past. She was a conveyancer at a high street firm in Wembley until she was struck off for dishonesty in 2009, and she has delighted in pursuing a number of claims in an attempt to seek redress ever since. In 2009 Mr Justice Burnett issued a civil restraint order against her, saying that she had harassed her former legal advisers. It was extended in 2011, then again in 2013 and again in 2015 when Mr Justice Patterson described her behaviour as “very much that of a vexatious litigant”. In 2017, when Mr Justice Turner extended the restraint order once again, he said that it was necessary to prevent a "blizzard of uncontrolled and unmeritorious claims".
Among her numerous applications, in 2017 Sheikh sought the impeachment of Lord Phillips, Lord Justice Briggs, Lord Justice Henderson and Sir Terence Etherton for conspiracy to commit identity theft. Sheikh accused Lord Philips of apparently giving a number of conspirators (including Burges Salmon, The Law Society and The Bank of Ireland) access to empty courtrooms where Lord Justice Briggs “impersonated a judge and staged enactments of trials. He put on his judicial robes and wig, used the empty courtrooms and bribed court [sic] to stand around to pretend that a hearing was taking place, which it was not.” Sheikh described Briggs' involvement in this "fraudulent instrument" as "the greatest risk ever known in the history of the civilised world". She said "that is not a statement of hyperbole".
No, still not that kind of anal Sheikh.
However, it seems that the Sheikh will be prevented from entertaining the court with her grievances. Following an application by the Attorney General, Sheikh has now been prohibited from bringing any civil or criminal case without the High Court's permission, for an indefinite amount of time. Lord Justice Coulson who made the order said that despite Sheikh being the subject of a civil restraint order since July 2009 it had not "lessened her enthusiasm for all forms of litigation".
Coulson added that Sheikh had "habitually and persistently" commenced proceedings despite judges regularly complaining about the groundless basis for her claims. The High Court found that a numerous number of cases brought by Sheikh over a 12 year period amounted to vexatious conduct or an abuse of process.