A barrister who falsely claimed she had saved clients from the gallows and lied about her qualifications in order to obtain pupillage has been disbarred.
According to a decision by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS) unregistered barrister Anisah Ahmed failed to act with honesty or integrity. Ahmed, who was called by Middle Temple in 2012, made the false claims while trying to secure pupillage at London’s Staple Inn Chambers in 2013.
Among her lies were that she had successfully argued in favour of claimants in unfair dismissal cases and had succeeded in having the death penalty put aside while representing prisoners in Malawi. No executions have been carried out in the southeast African state since 1992.
She also forged two solicitors’ signatures, which claimed to provide references for work carried out at two law firms. The tribunal does not dispute that she worked at the unnamed firms but notes that at one of the firms her tasks were ‘mainly administrative’.
Ahmed also said she had obtained a distinction in Legal Practice from Cardiff University, had written a dissertation on rights to die and been awarded a diploma in forensic medicine – none of which was true.
According to the tribunal’s findings Ahmed’s applications for pupillage, made in 2013, included false references from a principal solicitor and assistant solicitor that was ‘not authentic and forged’.
The charges were brought by barristers’ regulator the Bar Standards Board (BSB). Sara Jagger, director of professional conduct at the BSB, said: ‘This finding serves as a reminder to barristers that dishonesty is not compatible with membership of the bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Ahmed reflects the seriousness of her actions.’
The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.