A barrister who had practised as a public access practitioner without registering or completing the required training has been ordered to be disbarred for lying to a client.
An independent tribunal yesterday found that Michael William Wainwright, called to the bar in 2008, had engaged in conduct that was dishonest.
Wainwright had lied to his client about submitting to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) an application – on behalf of his client’s mother-in-law – for discretionary leave to remain in the UK. Wainwright had told his client that the application would reach the agency before the end of 2011.
In fact it was not submitted until March 2012 – after the date by which the client could appeal the decision by UKBA to refuse his mother-in-law leave to remain in the country. She was later deported to China.
The panel also found that Wainwright had worked with the same lay client as a public access barrister despite not completing the appropriate training and registering as a public access practitioner.
Wainwright was suspended from the bar for 28 days in March 2013 after a previous hearing found he had misled an immigration tribunal when he informed them that his lateness in attending the tribunal was caused by an accidental injury to his son, when it was, in fact, due to him representing another client at a different tribunal elsewhere at the same time.
Sara Jagger, director of professional conduct for the Bar Standards Board, said: ‘Mr Wainwright clearly failed to act in the best interests of his clients, acted dishonestly, and failed to abide by the rules for working with clients directly – all with serious consequence.’
Wainwright denied the charges and has 21 days to appeal.
The hearing was chaired by His Honour Judge Michael Baker QC.