The Supreme Court has refused to strike off two solicitors who had admitted 50 charges of gross misconduct.

They had also admitted operating secret accounts in which multi-million euro sums were lodged in a deliberate bid to evade tax.

The Law Society had argued that strike off was justified in the cases of Henry Colley and Colm Carroll.

They were the partners and principals in the firm of Roger Greene & Sons on Bridge Street in Dublin.

Mr Carroll has retired and Mr Colley is still a solicitor.

Both men had admitted operating secret accounts, one involving lodgements of at least €32m made over a three-year period.

They eventually made a €7m settlement with the Revenue.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court, with Mr Justice Hugh Geoghegan presiding and sitting with Mr Justice Jospeh Finnegan and Mr Justice George Birmingham, rejected the Society's appeal.

It was the first ever appeal by the Society against a refusal of strike off.

Mr Justice Geoghegan said the High Court decision by Mr Justice Liam McKechnie could only be reversed 'if as a matter of law, it was clearly incorrect', but Mr Justice McKechnie had given a 'closely reasoned' judgment in which he considered all the relevant points.

Mr Justice McKechnie said the most critical factor in his decision not to strike off was because clients were not left with any liabilities.

He said if there was any shortfall, he would have struck them off.