Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's elder brother yesterday won his four-year battle against the Law Society. Solicitor John Fang Meng-sang, 56, beamed with pleasure and relief as the Court of Appeal's ruling restored his reputation and criticised his accusers. 'I'm very happy,' he said outside the courtroom. 'It's a tremendous load off my mind. It's very difficult to fight the establishment.' Last March, the Law Society's disciplinary tribunal found Mr Fang guilty of professional misconduct and suspended him from practice for a year. The Appeal Court judgment accused the tribunal of uncritically adopting the 'shotgun' approach of a prosecutor without checking its facts. Mr Fang was acquitted because the body 'failed to deal with the real issues'. Vice-President Henry Litton, Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary and Mr Justice Benjamin Liu concluded that the original proceedings were conducted in an 'unsatisfactory' way. A heavy workload was to blame for the tribunal's shoddy handling to the case, the Appeal Court said. 'The tribunal took on board more work than it could handle,' the judges said. 'It got swamped.' Mr Fang said he believed he was selected for punishment because he dared challenge some of the rules governing property transactions. The disciplinary tribunal found him guilty of more than 100 counts of breach of undertaking, failure to render a satisfactory explanation to the Law Society and failure to reply to other solicitors. The penalty was suspended for a year pending his appeal. An 'undertaking' is a legally binding promise. Mr Fang got into trouble when he undertook to provide other solicitors with documents by a certain date but failed to deliver them on time. He argued that it was almost impossible for busy solicitors to meet the 17 or 21-day deadlines. In 1992, he wrote a letter to the Law Society complaining that the breach of undertaking system was unfair and unrealistic. The misconduct is said to have spanned a five-year period from 1988 to 1993. Mr Fang was liable for any breaches committed by the more than 20 staff members in his firm. The lawyer, who first faced disciplinary proceedings in 1992, shut down his practice in January 1995. 'I quit my job because the pressure was too great,' he said. 'It's very difficult to take care of your client when the Law Society is at your back.' Asked if he planned to restart his business, Mr Fang replied: 'Not yet.'