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Court Rejects ‘Legally Hopeless’ Barrister Claims

By Chloe Smith >>

(10 June 2016)

The High Court has thrown out as “totally without merit” claims by a Birmingham public access barrister which included an application to overturn all adverse findings ever made against any barrister.

Tariq Rehman, who was head of Kings Court Chambers, had sought to overturn a number of disciplinary tribunal decisions.

He also lodged two judicial reviews, one of which, if granted, would have undermined every finding and determination against him by the bar disciplinary tribunal. The other sought to judicially review a number of decisions made against him by the Legal Ombudsman.

In December 2014 the LeO publicly named Rehman because of the large number of complaints against him. At the time Rehman said the volume reflected the high caseload generated by his business model.

The first judicial review, which named the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority as defendants, contained suggestions that the SRA has paid barristers millions of pounds in bribes.

It also suggested that there might be ‘criminal implications’ for the former chair of the BSB and called for the immediate suspension among others, Her Honour Suzanne Coates, who chairs a bar disciplinary panel. Another claim, described by Mr Justice Hickinbottom as ‘legally scurrilous,’ suggested that some barristers who represented Rehman had ‘colluded with [the BSB] so that they would lose their cases.’

The core of the claim was to set aside every adverse finding and determination made by the disciplinary tribunal against any barrister who has ever been disbarred or suspended duly restored and paid compensation, because the BSB procedure was fundamentally flawed. Hickinbottom described this claim as ‘legally hopeless.’ He said: ‘[The] judicial review is not only unarguable, at its highest, it is clear that no judge could properly conclude that this claim might succeed. It is totally without merit.’

He also took issue with the involvement of Anal Sheikh, a struck off solicitor, in the proceedings.

The judge also dismissed two appeals against convictions by the disciplinary tribunal. A further to appeals against convictions by the disciplinary tribunal. A further two appeals will be heard in July. Hickinbottom also refused Rehman permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal and to the Supreme Court.

(Courtesy: Law Society Gazette)