A public access barrister who was ‘named and shamed’ by the Legal Ombudsman has been suspended from practice for more than two years and permanently banned from carrying out public access work.
Tariq Rehman was sanctioned for the second time in two weeks by the Bar Standards Board’s disciplinary tribunal.
According to the latest decision, published yesterday, 14 November, Rehman ‘failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that his chambers were administered competently and efficiently’.
It is the third time Rehman, who is head of Kings Court Chambers in Birmingham, has been suspended.
He was first suspended for two months in 2015 for failing to pay three barristers for work they had carried out.
Earlier this month, he was suspended for the second time and banned from carrying out public access instructions for three years.
The latest decision permanently bars him from public access work and places a 27-month ban on practising at the bar. The 27-month ban will take after last month's 14-month ban meaning he will be banned from the bar for a total of 41 months.
He was found guilty of offences including causing or permitting staff of Kings Court Chambers to accept cases in his name under the Public Access Rules by means of a client care letter being sent to the lay client bearing his name.
In addition, a complaint made by a lay client in 2012 and by solicitors on their behalf was also dealt with by staff or members of Kings Court Chambers without the lay client being provided with acknowledgement of the complaint.
The BSB ruling is open to appeal.
In May, the Gazette reported that the High Court had dismissed as ‘totally without merit’ claims by Rehman that sought to overturn charges against him.
Rehman sought to overturn several disciplinary tribunal decisions and also lodged two judicial reviews, one which, if granted, would have undermined every finding and determination against him by the disciplinary tribunal.
The claim also aimed to set aside every adverse finding made by the tribunal against any barrister, and to have every barrister who has ever been disbarred or suspended restored and paid compensation.
The LeO publicly named and shamed Rehman in 2014 because of the number of complaints against him.
Sarah Jagger, director of professional conduct at the BSB, said: ‘Barristers, and in particular heads of chambers, have a duty to run their practices efficiently and competently.
‘The public is entitled to expect a professional service from a barrister, particularly when they instruct a barrister directly.’