Solicitors who break their professional code of conduct will no longer have their identities protected by the Law Society. President Anthony Chow Wing-kin said yesterday the society's council had decided that rule-breakers would have their name published in the solicitor's professional journal Hong Kong Lawyer, except in exceptional circumstances. The first solicitor to be named is Barrie Meerkin, struck off for making personal use of his firm's fax machine and telephones and refusing to pay the ensuing bill of $12,841.63 when he left Hong Kong. The Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal said this 'impacted seriously on the honesty and integrity of the solicitor'. Mr Meerkin was also struck off for a separate charge of applying for two bank loans totalling $200,000 and then leaving Hong Kong, with the loans and additional debts unpaid. The tribunal said this $348,000.41 debt meant 'the reputation of the respondent and of solicitors in general tends to be severely damaged'. Mr Meerkin, according to the Law Society of England and Wales, does not hold a practising certificate in Britain and has not applied for one. He has not been struck off in England. Although solicitors who broke the code of conduct were generally named in the past, the system attracted criticism when the name of a solicitor struck off for three months was withheld. 'Some people say that lawyers only want to look after their own. But we have never acted in that fashion,' said Mr Chow. He said those who had made very minor or technical breaches in the code could remain anonymous because the impact on their careers would be out of proportion to their wrongdoing. He added it was not yet clear what 'exceptional circumstances' would be, but it included any case in which the tribunal used its power to order that a name not be released. However, another solicitor who was suspended, and whose name was withheld earlier in the year - after he had made nuisance phone calls and legal threats to his wife's supervisor after his wife finished work at 5.25 pm instead of 5 pm - will still not be named. He had even claimed he would sue his wife's supervisor for false imprisonment. After the supervisor complained to the police, the solicitor threatened to sue unless the complaint was withdrawn. Details of the suspension were not entered on the official roll of solicitors held by the High Court because of problems with the paperwork.