16 Oct 2020

Unregistered barrister Michael Rowan was prohibited from obtaining a practising certificate for three years by an independent disciplinary tribunal which concluded on 14 October 2020 following charges of professional misconduct brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision comes after Mr Rowan was convicted of fraud by false representation at Ipswich Crown Court in April 2019 for submitting three expenses forms to his employer to which he was not entitled.

The tribunal found that Mr Rowan had: failed to act with honest and integrity; acted in a way which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine his honesty, integrity and independence; and behaved in a way that is likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in him or in the profession. The tribunal also found that Mr Rowan failed to report the conviction to the BSB. In imposing the order, the Tribunal took into account mitigation put forward by Mr Rowan. 

Commenting on the order, a BSB spokesperson said: “The tribunal’s decision to order that Mr Rowan be prohibited from obtaining a practising certificate for three years serves as a reminder to all barristers of the serious consequences that can result from breaching their obligations contained within the BSB Handbook”.

The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.


Notes to editors

About Michael Rowan

Michael Rowan was called to the Bar of England and Wales by Inner Temple in November 1992.

Unregistered barristers

An unregistered barrister is an individual who has been called to the Bar of England and Wales but does not currently hold a practising certificate. There are a number of reasons why a barrister might not hold a practising certificate, including retirement, a career break, pursuing an alternative occupation, or never having completed the period of work-based learning known as pupillage which would make them eligible to apply for a practising certificate. In some cases, barristers are prevented from being issued with a practising certificate by a disciplinary tribunal. This arises where there is no practising certificate to suspend but still stops the individual from being able to practise as a barrister.

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 which is endorsed by the Council of the Inns of Court.

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: 0207 611 4691 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

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