19 January 2018

Barrister who represented clients in criminal trial while suspended to be disbarred

Friday 21 March 2014

A barrister who continued to represent clients in criminal trials while he was suspended is to be disbarred from the profession, an independent disciplinary tribunal ordered yesterday.

The tribunal heard that Mr Bruce Tattersall appeared in both a pre-trial hearing and criminal trial at Woolwich and Snaresbrook Crown Courts, which took place in January and November 2012 respectively, despite still being suspended from practising as a barrister.

Mr Tattersall had been suspended from the Bar in February 2010 after he was found guilty of a string of misconduct charges, including having practised without a valid Practising Certificate. It was ruled that he be fined £2,704 and suspended indefinitely until this sum had been paid.

Prosecuting for the barristers' regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), Mr Leon Kazakos yesterday told the five-person tribunal panel that, as of yet, "no money has been paid" and Mr Tattersall's suspension was still in effect.

The tribunal, chaired by HH Michael Baker QC, also heard that in April 2012 Mr Tattersall had drafted, on behalf of his client, detailed reasons for an appeal, to be sent to the criminal division of the Court of Appeal - breaching his suspension again.

Head of Professional Conduct at the BSB, Sara Down, said: "Clearly such behaviour is both disruptive for the court and distressing for the client. I'm sure that both members of the public and the profession would agree that Mr Tattersall's actions were completely unacceptable and that the decision by the tribunal was the right one."

The barristers' regulator learned of Mr Tattersall's misconduct after the BSB was provided with evidence that showed Mr Tattersall was still practising while suspended. 

He had a string of previous findings of professional misconduct. In July 2010, he was found guilty of six charges including practising without a Practising Certificate. He was suspended from practice for an additional two years and fined £780.

ENDS

Notes to editors
Mr Tattersall was called to the Bar by Middle Temple in October 1997.

The tribunal panel heard that Mr Tattersall appeared in a pre-trial hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in January 2012. He then appeared in Snaresbrook Crown Court in November 2012.

About Disciplinary Tribunals
The Council of the Inns of Court (COIC) is an independent body - separate to the BSB - which is responsible for appointing the Disciplinary Tribunal panels which adjudicate on disciplinary charges brought by the BSB for professional misconduct. This function is performed under COIC's auspices by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS).

About the Bar Standards Board
Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t.

Contact: for media enquiries please contact Eugene Grant on 0207 6111 452 or via EGrant@barstandardsboard.org.uk.