19 August 2019

Barrister Bernadette McGurk ordered to be suspended for six months

24 May 2019

Barrister Bernadette McGurk has been ordered to be suspended from practice for six months by an independent disciplinary tribunal following charges of professional misconduct brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision comes after Ms McGurk carried out reserved legal activities between 1 August 2012 and 11 February 2018 without holding a valid barristers' practising certificate.

The tribunal also found that by not holding a valid practising certificate between 6 January 2014 and 11 February 2018, Ms McGurk failed to take reasonable steps to manage her practice competently and in such a way as to achieve compliance with her legal and regulatory obligations.

BSB Director of Professional Conduct, Sara Jagger, said: "The tribunal's decision to suspend Ms McGurk serves as a warning to barristers of the serious consequences that can flow from failing to comply with their practising obligations."

The tribunal's decision is open to appeal.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Bernadette McGurk

Bernadette McGurk was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Lincoln's Inn in November 2010.

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 reserved legal activities

Reserved legal activities are:

  • the exercise of a right of audience;
  • the conduct of litigation;
  • reserved instrument activities;
  • probate activities;
  • notarial activities; and
  • the administration of oaths.

Barristers are only permitted to carry out these activities if they hold a valid practising certificate from the BSB.

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 .