26 September 2017

Unregistered barrister Chukwuma Emele disbarred for dishonest conduct when practising as a solicitor and for failing to declare this when being called to the Bar

17 July 2017

Unregistered barrister Chukwuma Emele was ordered to be disbarred from the Bar of England and Wales at an independent disciplinary tribunal hearing held on Friday 14 July, following charges brought by the Bar Standards Board.

The decision follows false declarations made by Mr Emele in February 2010 as part of his application to be called to the Bar. In those declarations he stated that he was not aware of any matter which might reasonably be thought to call into question his fitness to become a practising barrister, when he in fact knew that in July 2009 the law firm that he ran had been the subject of an intervention by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).

The tribunal's decision to disbar also related to a finding made against Mr Emele by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in April 2012, which was upheld on appeal in October 2016. The charges found by the SDT included operating a firm of solicitors when not authorised to do so and dishonestly appropriating client funds. In its finding the SDT prohibited Mr Emele from re-registering as a Registered Foreign Lawyer and from working at SRA regulated firms.

Speaking about Friday's Bar tribunal, a BSB spokesperson said: "The tribunal's decision to disbar Mr Emele acts as a reminder for anyone hoping to be called to the Bar of England and Wales to be open and honest at all times and in the declarations they make when applying for entry to one of the Inns. Honesty and integrity are core attributes for all barristers."

The tribunal's decision is open to appeal.

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

About Chukwuma Emele

Mr Emele was called to the Bar in March 2010 by Lincoln's Inn. He has never held a practising certificate as a barrister in England and Wales.

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:

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.

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