Barrister Barred For Operating While Suspended


On 17th January 2023, the industry regulator, the Bar Standards Board decided to hand down an order imposing a ban on a barrister preventing him from continuing to practise after evidence emerged demonstrating that he had been operating whilst temporarily banned.    

What Happened In The Case?

The barrister appears to have had a successful legal career as a barrister and received his call to the Bar in 2007. However, matters seem to have deteriorated seven years later in 2014 when the legal professional was temporarily banned from operating in the profession in his capacity as a barrister. Following his seeming reinstatement into the industry, he was then involved in more unscrupulous dealings and as a direct consequence, a thirty-six-month order was imposed upon him by the regulator the Bar Standards Board in both 2019 and 2021 respectively which prevented him from practising. The Bar Standards Board’s order even prevented him from applying for a certificate permitting him from operating as a barrister in the five years from March 2019 to January 2024. 

Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out…

Normally legal professionals finding themselves prevented from practising would supposedly take the decision on the chin, keep their head down and comply. However, this is not what happened here and evidence emerged appearing demonstrating that instead, the legal professional inexplicably appears to have taken instructions from a client in a criminal matter, attended a routine Magistrates court hearing and applied his signature to some court paperwork.  

The Bar Standards Board became aware of the misdemeanour which had been committed by the legal profession and it ruled that he had acted in a deceptive in front of the Magistrates Court. He had misrepresented to the court and the wider general public that he was permitted to operate and attend the court hearing. 

Solely this would be serious enough, however, the legal professional by his very actions of attending the court hearing also vicariously landed his employer in hot water with the regulator. The Bar Standards Board investigated the provider of legal services and discovered that the barrister’s chambers providing him with employment purportedly advertised that the legal professional was permitted to practice and provide his services to clients. However, this statement was wholly untrue as he was not allowed to advertise his services by virtue of the suspension order. The Regulator was particularly damning of this conduct and found this to be underhanded as it painted a false picture of the reality of the situation.                

What Did The Bar Standards Authority Say?

The Regulator examined the evidence submitted to it and was particularly damning of the conduct displayed by the legal profession and by implication the legal services provider. The Bar Standards Board found that he had neglected his duties to be transparent and collaborative with it. This was primarily because the barrister had been uncooperative with its inquiries into the matter. 

Lessons Learned? 

To mitigate the risks of being banned by the regulator those operating in the legal profession need to be taking the teachings of this case on board should be: 

  • cooperating with the regulator
  • ensuring they are building a working relationship with the Bar Standards Board
  • complying with the rules on professional conduct at all times
  • avoiding conducting themselves in a way whereby they are the subject of a ban from practising
  • if they find themselves subject to a temporary ban on their practice, avoiding the temptation to continue practising as a lawyer when not permitted and
  • communicating with the legal service provider not to put such deceitful statements in their advertisements.  

 ASSESSING FIRMS

#BlakeMorgan #LClyde&CoLLP #CapsticksLLP #Hempsons #KingsleyNapleyLLP #RadcliffesLeBrasseur #BatesWells #CMS #DACBeachcroftLLP #FieldFisher #HerbertSmithFreehills #Russell-CookeLLP #BlackfordsLLP #CharlesRussellSpeechlysLLP #KeoughLLP #MurdochsSolicitors #StepehensonsSolicItorsLLP

THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN USING THE FOLLOWING SOURCES 

[SOURCE 1] Rose, Neil – Barrister who practised while suspended is disbarred - Legal Futures – 17 January 2023 - Barrister who practised while suspended is disbarred - Legal Futures

[SOURCE 2] Rose, Neil – Barrister withdrew from the case “without telling client or chambers” – 27 March 2019 - Legal Futures - Barrister withdrew from the case "without telling client or chambers" - Legal Futures

[SOURCE 3] Legal Futures – Non-compliant barrister given another three-year practising ban – 25 January 2021 - Non-compliant barrister given another three-year practising ban - Legal Futures

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