A barrister has been disbarred after she represented a client in court without a practising certificate and pretended to the judge that she had been instructed by a solicitor to appear in the proceedings. 

Katrina McCarthy, called to the bar in 2004 and listed as a director/barrister at law at McCarthys Legal Services Consultancy on the website LinkedIn, was found to have ‘knowingly’ exercised a right of audience to which she was not entitled before Hammersmith County Court between October 2014 and March 2015.

A bar disciplinary tribunal heard that during the proceedings she represented a defendant at an interim hearing and then a final hearing against the Metropolitan Police. During this time she did not have a PC or authorisation to provide legal services.

According to the tribunal, McCarthy falsely told District Judge Ryan that she had been instructed by a firm of solicitors and that she would be able to provide the court with a PC within seven days.

The tribunal noted that she failed to report her ‘serious misconduct’ to the Bar Standards Board, and then did not provide the regulator with information in connection to an investigation into a complaint against her.

The tribunal ruled that McCarthy should be disbarred and fined £2,400. The decision is open to appeal.