Barrister convicted of CS gas offences disbarred after second disciplinary hearing

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3 December 2014


Barrister was convicted of obstructing the police

A barrister who successfully appealed the decision of a previous disciplinary tribunal was yesterday ordered by a new tribunal panel to be disbarred.

Giles Norton of Sheffield was ordered to be disbarred in February 2014 after a bar tribunal found he had failed to disclose two previous criminal convictions for possessing unlawful CS spray and one of obstructing a police officer.

Mr Norton – who was called in 2004 and was a sole practitioner based at Enigma Chambers – was also found to have falsely claimed on his CV that he had first class honours degrees from Harvard University in Chinese and information technology, and that he had an LLM from Staffordshire University in international trade and export.

He was originally disbarred in February, but successfully appealed the ruling in August, when the High Court decided that the tribunal had misdirected itself when it decided not to grant an adjournment and instead proceeded with the hearing in his absence.

The appeal court ordered a new hearing, which took place on 1 December 2014 and which also concluded that an order of disbarment was appropriate.

It also took into account his lack of co-operation with the Bar Standards Board’s investigation, which the tribunal said amounted to professional misconduct in the circumstances.

Speaking after the original tribunal, the BSB’s head of professional conduct, Sara Down, said: “Our duty as a regulator is, first and foremost, to protect the public. Mr Norton not only failed to disclose serious criminal convictions, but also fabricated his qualifications. In our view, there is no place at the Bar for such dishonesty and we believe the tribunal decision is the right one.”

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