13 Mar 2023

Unregistered barrister Darren Craig Stapleford, was ordered to be disbarred by an independent disciplinary tribunal which concluded on 9 March 2023 following charges of professional misconduct brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal heard that Mr Stapleford fraudulently used his grandmother's bank account and bank card to withdraw cash and transfer funds to himself. Mr Stapleford was convicted by Chichester Crown Court on 5 August 2016 of five counts of fraud, and sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment.

The tribunal therefore found that Mr Stapleford failed to comply with his legal and regulatory obligations by engaging in dishonest conduct which was prejudicial to the administration of justice, likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession and to bring the profession into disrepute. In ordering Mr. Stapleford to be disbarred, the tribunal commented that "the behaviour was cynical and deliberately dishonest behaviour over an extended period of time, directed at a vulnerable elderly victim and involving a significant breach of Mr. Stapleford's responsibilities towards her.” Commenting on the order, a BSB spokesperson said: “The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Stapleford reflects the seriousness of the charge against him. Committing the offence of fraud is clearly incompatible with the high standards expected of the Bar."



Notes to editors

About Darren Craig Stapleford

Darren Craig Stapleford was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Inner Temple in 2012.

About disciplinary tribunals

The Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS) is responsible for appointing and administering Disciplinary Tribunals on behalf of the President of the Council of the Inns of Court and its tribunals are independent of the BSB. 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

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 07432 713 328 or email [email protected].

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