19 October 2018

Barrister with history of misconduct disbarred for “persistent departure” from professional standards

An independent public disciplinary tribunal has ordered the disbarment of a barrister after his professional conduct was described by the panel's chair as representing a "persistent departure from the standards expected of a barrister".

Chairing the five person hearing, HHJ Stuart Sleeman said the disbarment of Mr Iain William Leadbetter - whose past conduct had seen him referred to four previous disciplinary tribunals - was necessary "to maintain the reputation of the Bar and to maintain public confidence in the profession".

The panel heard that Mr Leadbetter had practised as a barrister between 1 May 2013 and 31 December 2013 without having a valid Practising Certificate, and had failed to respond promptly to the Bar Standards Board's requests for further information.

Mr Leadbetter had a history of professional misconduct, including failure to comply with continuing professional development requirements, refusing to pay fines and costs of over £3600, and declining to supply the Barristers' Mutual Insurance Fund with the proper renewal cover documents. HHJ Sleeman described Mr Leadbetter's behaviour as "causing damage to the reputation of the Bar".

Director of the Bar Standards Board's Professional Conduct Department, Sara Jagger, said: "Mr Leadbetter has shown brazen disregard for the need to comply with proper standards of practice, and has repeatedly put at risk public confidence in his own profession. We believe that the sentence of disbarment was the right one."

The hearing took place on 5 November 2014.

For more information please see here.

ENDS

Notes to editors

About Iain Leadbetter
Iain Leadbetter was Called to the Bar by Middle Temple in November 1975.

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 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: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email Press@barstandardsboard.org.uk.