A Birmingham public access barrister who was ‘named and shamed’ by the Legal Ombudsman in 2014 is to challenge the latest disciplinary findings against him, the Gazette has learned.
A bar disciplinary tribunal last week found that Tariq Rehman, who was head of Kings Court Chambers, had failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure his chambers were administered competently and efficiently, and were properly staffed.
The tribunal heard that Kings Court Chambers had delayed paying a refund of £1,100 to a lay client from March 2012 to August 2012. In its findings, the tribunal said the delay was by reason of administrative incompetence or inefficiency on the part of Rehman or his staff.
The chambers also delayed payments to three public access clients.
The five-person tribunal heard that some of the refunds were requested under Kings Court Chambers’ seven-day refund policy, while others were requested after the client claimed that work had not been done.
Two further charges against Rehman were not upheld. Rehman did not attend the hearing.
The hearing opened on a contentious note when the tribunal challenged the qualifications of Rehman’s representative, Anal Sheikh, after a High Court judgment from July 2015 referred to her as being a struck-off solicitor.
Sheikh maintained that she was still a solicitor and described Rehman as a ‘torture victim’ due to the number of disciplinary proceedings being pursued against him by the BSB. A previous tribunal found Rehman guilty of 11 misconduct offences.
Sheikh told the tribunal: ‘Mr Rehman is involved in 18 sets of proceedings. How can anyone deal with this sort of litigation? It is a form of torture. It is wrong to not at least let him have an advocate.’
But the tribunal ruled that Sheikh could not appear on his behalf as she had showed no evidence that she was a practising solicitor and kept bringing up ‘conspiracy theories’.
The sentence for Rehman has been deferred until two further tribunal hearings and appeals against separate findings have been heard.
Rehman told the Gazette he would appeal the decision, as the hearing had been held despite the fact he was unable to attend and the tribunal had refused to let his representative speak on his behalf. He also told the Gazette that the reason for the delayed payments was that the BSB had suspended him from conducting direct access work.