21 July 2018

Barrister who intentionally misled client over appeal to be disbarred

5 February 2014

A public disciplinary tribunal has this week ordered the disbarment of a barrister for intentionally misleading his client by drafting false grounds of appeal - despite knowing there were none.

The tribunal panel heard that Mr Rabi Sukul, of Balham Chambers, London, drafted a document to the Court of Appeal setting out initial grounds for an appeal on behalf of his client who had been convicted of drugs-related offences.

Mr Sukul then failed to set out these grounds in detail, despite being requested to do so by the Court of Appeal.

The tribunal heard that Mr Sukul had acted with "the intention of misleading the client".

The independent five-person tribunal, chaired by His Honour Michael Baker QC, found by a unanimous verdict that Mr Sukul had intentionally misled his client and engaged in conduct likely to bring the barristers' profession into disrepute.

Head of Professional Conduct at the Bar Standards Board, Sara Down said: "Our duty as a regulator is, first and foremost, to protect the public and safeguard the client. Because of his behaviour, Mr Sukul not only potentially gave his client false hope of a possible appeal against his conviction, but acted counter to his obligation not to knowingly or recklessly mislead the court. For the public to have confidence in the justice system, they must be able to have confidence in the person representing them. We believe that the independent panel has made absolutely the right decision."

The hearing took place on Monday 3 February 2014.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Mr Sukul was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn, July 1988. He was not present at the hearing.

The panel heard that Mr Sukul's aforementioned client had originally been found guilty of drugs-related offences at Snaresbrook Crown Court and sentenced to a Young Offenders Institute.

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
Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

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