Barrister Glen Tek Beck Koh was ordered to be suspended from practice for six months by an independent disciplinary tribunal which concluded on 20 October following charges of professional misconduct brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
The tribunal’s decision follows Mr Koh’s failure to comply with a sanction imposed on him by a Disciplinary Tribunal in November 2019 to pay a fine of £7,500. The 2019 sanction was in relation to Mr Koh failing to be open and co-operative with the BSB in that he did not inform the BSB until April 2018 about a disciplinary finding imposed on him by the Law Society of Singapore in March 2016.
This week’s tribunal found that by failing to pay the fine imposed in 2019 - or to engage in a meaningful way with the BSB about payment of the fine - Mr Koh had again failed to be open and co-operative with the regulator and that his actions were likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public placed in him or in the Bar.
Commenting on the order to suspend, a BSB spokesperson said: “Being open and co-operative with regulators is a core professional duty which all barristers are expected to uphold. The public can reasonably expect barristers to comply with disciplinary sanctions when they are imposed. The tribunal’s decision to suspend Mr Koh for his failure to do so reflects this. It also serves as a reminder for barristers about the importance of such compliance.”
The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.
Notes to editors
About Glen Koh
Glen Tek Beck Koh was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Middle Temple in October 1998. Mr Koh is one of a small number of unregistered barristers who are entitled to supply legal services as a barrister in England and Wales under the exemption outlined in RS12 of the BSB Handbook (and defined in RS15). Hence, it is appropriate for the tribunal to have imposed a suspension order on Mr Koh.
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. The BSB is responsible for bringing charges of professional misconduct against barristers, which BTAS tribunal panels then adjudicate. The sanctions imposed are a matter for the tribunal having regard to the facts of the individual case and the BTAS Sanctions Guidance.
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: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t
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