21 May 2018

Barrister who committed £135,500 fraud in Malaysia is to be disbarred

13 February 2014

A barrister who was struck off the Roll of Advocates and Solicitors in Malaysia after defrauding a prospective land-buyer of RM750,000 - around £135,500 - was today ordered by an independent disciplinary tribunal to be disbarred from the Bar in England and Wales.

Details of Mr Kasturi Kesveren Balasamy's original offence were not re-examined by the tribunal panel, but local media reports at the time indicate that he was struck off after he deceived a prospective buyer into believing he represented the owner of a nine-acre plot of land.

Mr Balasamy is believed to have accepted from the buyer a deposit of RM750,000 - which he then paid to an unauthorised third party - despite not representing the owner and the land not being for sale.

The tribunal heard that the Malaysian Bar Council derided Mr Balasamy's conduct as "deceitful, reckless and dishonest". He was struck off on 21 May 2010, but this was only brought to the attention of the BSB, via a third party, in October 2012.

Today's tribunal found that Mr Balasamy had engaged in conduct that was dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister, and had failed to promptly report to the BSB that he had been struck off in Malaysia.

The Bar Standards Board's Head of Professional Conduct, Sara Down, said: "In light of such reprehensible and dishonest practice abroad, it would be wrong to allow Mr Balasamy to remain a member of the Bar here, and the panel's decision was inevitable."

The hearing took place on 13 February 2014

ENDS

Notes to editors
Mr Kasturi Balasamy was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn, July 1994. He was, in England and Wales, an unregistered barrister as he completed the academic stage of the Bar's training, but had not completed pupillage. The panel heard that he is a resident in the Perak Darul Ridzuan area of Malaysia.

The tribunal panel was chaired by His Honour Alasdair Darroch.

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

About the Bar Standards Board
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Contact: the Bar Standards Board Press Office on 0207 6111 452