A barrister facing a string of misconduct charges had a claim on his website that he could get ‘Stevie Wonder a driving licence’, a tribunal heard yesterday. Michael Wolkind QC, of 2 Bedford Row, is also accused of being ‘patronising’ to the prosecution during a murder trial in 2013.
He allegedly told prosecutor Brian Altman QC, that he had told ‘a whopper of a lie’ and was ‘flying away from the real world on a jet plane’.
Wolkind, who is accused of 10 professional misconduct charges, is appearing before a two-day hearing by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service at Gray’s Inn Square.
Wolkind’s website, where the alleged claim through a testionial was made about driving licences, came to the attention of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the lord chief justice during an appeal against the 2013 murder conviction of Wolkind’s former client Robert Ekaireb.
At the appeal, heard in 2015, Thomas upheld the conviction but the tribunal heard Wolkind had made ‘completely unprofessional’ personal criticism of Altman during his closing speech.
Lord Thomas said Wolkind’s closing speech was ‘ill-judged, patronising and contained inappropriate attempts at humour’.
Ekaireb was convicted of murdering his wife, Li Hua Cao, in 2013.
Wolkind admits to six charges relating to his website, but denies the Steve Wonder comments. He also denies professional misconduct relating to alleged comments against the prosecution counsel in the Ekaireb case, and comments in another trial.
The hearing continues.