Ms Martha Knowlden

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Barrister Status:
Self Employed
Called:
Nov 2000
Inn:
Inner Temple
Hearing type:
Disciplinary Tribunal (3 person)
Decision date
20/11/2023
Breach details:
Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to provide a competent standard of work and service, in that following acceptance of instructions in April 2019, Ms Knowlden failed to issue Messrs AE and JE, direct access clients, a client care letter containing the relevant information in accordance with rC125. Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to provide a competent standard of work and service, in that following acceptance of instructions in April 2019, Ms Knowlden failed to issue Messrs AE and JE, direct access clients, with information about their right to make a complaint. Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to provide a competent standard of work and service in that, following acceptance of instructions in April 2019, she failed to inform Messrs AE and JE, direct access clients, that she was a self-employed barrister and would not be in a position to undertake the management, administration or general conduct of the clients’ affairs. Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to provide a competent standard of work and service in that she failed or delayed unreasonably in acknowledging a formal complaint from Messrs AE and JE, direct access clients, made on 23 August 2019. Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to take reasonable steps to manage her practice and comply with the regulatory requirements set out in the Bar Standards Board’s Handbook in that she accepted direct access instructions but failed to keep proper records of those instructions as required under rC128. Ms Knowlden, a barrister and BSB authorised individual, failed to take reasonable steps to manage her practice and comply with the regulatory requirements set out in the Bar Standards Board’s Handbook in that she failed to provide her clients with a response to their complaint, specifically their request for a copy of papers relating to their case, as required under rC131.2. Martha Knowlden, a practising barrister in self-employed practice, while acting for two public access clients who were defendants to an application for an interim injunction listed for hearing on 21 August 2019 in the County Court at Medway in claim number F00ME569, failed to provide a competent standard of work and service to her clients, in that, having accepted their instructions to perfect draft witness statements which they gave to her and file the statements at court as their evidence in opposition to the application, between around late July 2019 and 21 August 2019, she failed to perfect the witness statements or file them at court, or take reasonable steps to do so, with the result that her clients had no such evidence to rely on at the hearing on 21 August 2019. Martha Knowlden, a practising barrister, failed to be open and cooperative with the Bar Standards Board and failed to respond promptly or at all to its requests for comments and/or information in respect of a complaint raised against her, in that she failed to respond substantively or at all to emails and letters sent to her by it as follows: (a) an email and attached letter dated 10 February 2023 containing allegations of misconduct against her and requesting her written comments by 6 March 2023; (b) an email dated 27 February 2023 reminding her that her response to the allegations should be provided by 6 March 2023; and (c) an email dated 13 March 2023 requesting her response to the allegations by 17 March 2023. Ms Knowlden, a barrister, behaved in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in her or in the profession and failed to take reasonable steps to manage her practice, or carry out her role within her practice, competently and in such a way as to achieve compliance with her legal and regulatory obligations in that she failed to either remove or update her website (https://advocaselegal-services.business.site/) so that it is compliant with rC103.1, rC103.2.a, rC103.2.b, rC103.2.c, rC159, and rC160 in accordance with the Bar Standards Board’s Transparency Rules 2019 from January 2020 to date, despite her receiving detailed feedback on 3 July 2020 on how to become compliant. Ms Knowlden, a barrister, behaved in a way which is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in her or in the profession and failed to take reasonable steps to manage her practice, or carry out her role within her practice, competently and in such a way as to achieve compliance with her legal and regulatory obligations in that she failed to take steps to ensure that her readily available information (‘factsheet’) was compliant with the Transparency Rules 2019 from January 2020 to date, despite her receiving detailed feedback on 19 April 2021 on how to become compliant. Ms Knowlden, a barrister, failed to co-operative with her regulators and/or failed to ensure that her chambers was administered competently and efficiently in that she did not comply with the reasonable requests of the Supervision Team at the Bar Standards Board to comply with the Transparency Rules 2019 made on one or more of the occasions set out in Schedule 1, between July 2020 and April 2021.
Offence details:

Sanction:
Reprimanded and Orders prohibiting Ms Knowlden from accepting or carrying out public access instructions (totalling 6 months) (sentence effective from 12 December 2023).
Costs:
£¤100.00
Status:
Final