25 May 2018

Barrister to be disbarred for dishonesty

24 June 2014

A barrister who lied about her employment status and history, with the intention of gaining financially, was last week ordered by an independent disciplinary tribunal to be disbarred from the profession.

The panel heard that in summer 2012 Merilyn Brown misled the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust over her past employment, while applying for a position there as Head of Legal Services.

The panel, chaired by HHJ Michael Baker QC, heard that, in completing and submitting her application form, Ms Brown falsely replied "No" to the question "Have you ever been dismissed from previous employment?"

She falsely stated that her reason for leaving her past employment - as Head of Complaints and Litigation at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust - was because it was an "interim role".

Ms Brown, who represented herself at the hearing, was in fact dismissed from Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital for "conduct reasons", although the detail of these were not disclosed at the public tribunal.

Ms Brown was also found guilty of a second charge of misconduct, after she further misled the Whittington Hospital when, in summer 2012, she informed the Assistant Director of Nursing and Patient Experience that she had taken on a new, part-time role at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust. The new role had in fact been full-time.

The panel reached a unanimous verdict that Ms Brown had engaged in conduct which was dishonest with the intention of making a financial gain.

HHJ Baker told Ms Baker that she had been "plainly dishonest".

Head of Professional Conduct at the Bar Standards Board, Sara Jagger, said: "Instances of dishonesty among the Bar are taken very seriously. The panel has made the right decision."

The hearing took place on Friday 20 June 2014.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Ms Brown
Ms Brown was Called to the Bar by Inner Temple in July 2007. Ms Brown was an unregistered barrister as she had completed the academic stage of the Bar's training, but had not completed pupillage and was, therefore, not entitled to offer or provide legal services as a barrister.

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 has been performed under COIC's auspices by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS).

Contact: for media enquiries please call 0207 6111 452 (07432 713 328 outside of normal working hours) or email EGrant@barstandardsboard.org.uk.