24 April 2018

Vanessa Gibson-Marks disbarred following conviction for theft

17 January 2017

St Vincent and the Grenadines-based unregistered barrister Vanessa Gibson-Marks was ordered to be disbarred from the Bar of England and Wales by an independent disciplinary tribunal at a hearing held on Monday, 16 January 2017. The order follows charges brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision comes after Mrs Gibson-Marks's conviction for theft in October 2014 by the High Court in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where she also held the Public Office of Registrar of the High Court. Mrs Gibson-Marks was convicted of the theft of $21,925 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (c. £6,700). She was also convicted of an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another person, when she requested that a bank account for the benefit of another be closed. This occurred while she was appointed as a trustee of the account when employed as the Registrar of the High Court.

BSB Director of Professional Conduct Sara Jagger said: "A conviction for theft and acting prejudicially to the rights of another person is incompatible with membership of the Bar. The standards of professional conduct for barristers called to the Bar of England and Wales apply no matter where you are in the world. The tribunal's decision to disbar Mrs Gibson-Marks reflects the gravity of her actions."

Mrs Gibson-Marks was also fined £500 for not informing the BSB of her criminal convictions, as she was required to do under BSB rules.

Mrs Gibson-Marks has never held a practising certificate in England and Wales.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Vanessa Tamara Gibson-Marks

Mrs Gibson-Marks was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in July 2000. She became a member of the St Lucia Bar and the St Vincent Bar in 2002.

The relevant jurisdictions have been informed of the Tribunal's decision.

About disciplinary tribunals

The appointment, operation, and decisions (including sentencing) of disciplinary tribunal panels are performed by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS). BTAS is run independently of the Bar Standards Board, the barristers' regulator, which is responsible for bringing charges of professional misconduct against barristers. These charges are then adjudicated on by BTAS' tribunal panels.

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk.