21 February 2019

Barrister Neil Frew ordered to be disbarred following criminal conviction for fraud

18 January 2019

Unregistered barrister, Neil Frew, was ordered to be disbarred by an independent disciplinary tribunal at a hearing held on 17 January 2019, following five findings of professional misconduct on charges brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision comes after Mr Frew was convicted by a criminal court in 2016 of conspiracy to defraud. He was sentenced in 2017 to two years' imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work before June 2018.

The criminal court found that between 30 September 2010 and 5 January 2014, Mr Frew, who was working as a solicitor, conspired with others to defraud the Legal Aid Agency by dishonestly claiming to have used and paid a company called Legal Support Services for interpreters' services, when in-fact no such agency was used to obtain the interpreters. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal stuck Mr Frew off the Roll of Solicitors in late 2017 and the BSB's proceedings were brought after this decision.

Commenting on the order to disbar, BSB Director of Professional Conduct, Sara Jagger said: "The public must be able to rely on the legal professions to act honestly when claiming money from the Legal Aid Agency. Mr Frew's criminal conviction for defrauding the Legal Aid Agency is entirely incompatible with continued membership of the Bar. The Tribunal's decision that he should be disbarred rightly reflects this."

The tribunal's decision is open to appeal.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

About Neil Frew

Neil Frew was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple in October 2004.  Subsequently, in 2008, he was also admitted to the Roll of Solicitors but was struck off the Roll by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2017.

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 .