Barrister cops double suspension after immigration conviction

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28 July 2016

Immigration: convictions for unregistered advisers

Immigration: convictions for unregistered advisers

A barrister who was convicted last year of practising as an immigration adviser while his registration was suspended, has now been suspended from the Bar as well.

Meanwhile, four unqualified immigration advisers have been convicted of offering services without being registered by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Khalil Hosenbux was this week suspended from practising as a barrister for three months by a Bar disciplinary tribunal.

As well as having been called to the Bar, he was registered by OISC as an immigration adviser, but in 2013 was suspended over charges of professional misconduct. However, he continued to work in the field and last year he was convicted of a single charge of providing unregulated immigration advice and services after submitting a Home Office application on behalf of a client, without disclosing that he was disqualified from doing so.

He was handed a conditional discharge for 18 months, and ordered to pay compensation to the victim in the sum of £2,050, prosecution costs of £1,020 and a victim surcharge of £15.

The tribunal said this conviction was likely to diminish the trust and confidence placed in Mr Hosenbux by the public as a barrister. As well as the suspension, he was fined £250 for the same offence and an additional £500 for two related charges.

During the course of the tribunal, Mr Hosenbux undertook not to undertake any immigration work in the future. This undertaking was accepted by the tribunal panel.

Sara Jagger, the BSB’s director of professional conduct, said: “Where a barrister is also regulated by another professional body, it is important that they abide by the rules of practice imposed by that body. Not doing so undermines public confidence in the legal profession and, it is right, therefore, that the tribunal decided to suspend Mr Hosenbux for this matter.”

Meanwhile, OISC has successfully prosecuted four people for providing unqualified advice or services in recent weeks.

Howard Ogbonmwan, 47, of Visionary Community Ambassadors in Reading pleaded guilty to six counts and was sentenced to a community order of 100 hours unpaid work to be carried out within 12 months and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,500 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Sirine Parween, 41, of SP Law Associates Ltd in Barking, East London, pleaded guilty to three charges, with a further four offences left on file. She was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment for each offence, to be served concurrently.

Judge Beddoe at Southwark Crown Court described her actions as incompetent and said that she had put her interests above anyone else’s. She was not qualified and whatever qualifications she held in her home country, she was not qualified in the UK. He found that she had committed the offences on a commercial basis.

Mazyar Shirali, 31, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty to six charges. He established Persian LGBT Advisory Services in Handsworth, Birmingham and provided advice and services to a large number of people. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge for 18 months’ on each count, to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

On sentencing, the presiding magistrate said: “These are serious matters which must be investigated. You carried out the work for the right reasons but in the wrong manner.”

Finally, Pantea Modiri, 41, of Putney, London, pleaded guilty to one charge and was sentenced to a £1,200 fine, compensation in the sum of £1,125 and ordered to pay costs of £991, in addition to a victim surcharge of £120.

OISC said Ms Modiri was a prominent figure within the Persian community and has appeared regularly as a community TV presenter. She operated under two business names, Coronation Law LLP and Modiri & Co, advertising in a Persian community publication and a company website.

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