A London barrister who failed to repay more than £4,000 he collected from 32 public access cases has been disbarred. Peter Richard Collins also produced a bogus fee note and failed to inform clients of rules relating to public access cases.
According to a decision by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service, Collins failed to act with honesty and integrity, behaved in a way likely to diminish trust and confidence and failed to comply with public access rules.
The barrister, who failed to repay 4 King’s Bench Walk Chambers, faced three charges in a case brought by the bar’s regulator the Bar Standards Board.
They were that he failed to inform the chambers of £4,236 in fees he received from 32 public access cases.
He also produced, or caused to be produced, a fee note that he sent to an instructing solicitor. The note, the amount for which has not been disclosed, falsely claimed to be from the chambers.
Finally, in 28 public access cases he failed to notify each of his clients ‘in writing in clear and readily understandable terms’, of any or all of the matters set out in the BSB’s Handbook.
According to the published decision, Collins was disbarred and handed two three-month suspensions which will run concurrently from 22 May.
The BSB's director of professional conduct Sara Jagger said: 'Collins’s dishonest conduct in not paying his share of chambers’ fees over a substantial period of time, is incompatible with membership of the Bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar reflects this.'