A barrister and former company director who charged companies up to £30,000 for work that was never done has been disbarred. In a decision handed down yesterday the Bar Disciplinary Tribunal said Philip Pawson should be disbarred on grounds of dishonesty.

Last year, Pawson was disqualified from holding a company directorship for eight years. As director of several Leeds-based companies the tribunal heard that Pawson paid himself a salary for work he did not do, and charged six companies £5,000 each for the same piece of legal work.

In 2012, several companies that Pawson ran were wound up after he was found to have preyed on victims by pretending his companies could help investors who had lost money by falling victim to an unconnected con.

The investors had been duped into buying land on the understanding it was prime for development, to later discover the plots could never be built on.

Pawson’s companies claimed to help those victims in exchange for a fee but never did.

An investigation by the Insolvency Service revealed that the cash was used to pay staff salaries, leaving the companies in no position to achieve their aims.

Pawson, a former president of the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants, was called to the bar in 1999 but never practised, the tribunal judgment said. 

A spokesperson for the BSB said: ‘Dishonesty is incompatible with the standards expected from all members of the bar.’