Reprimand for barrister who encouraged client to seek out damaging information about fellow counsel

Print This Post

27 July 2016


Internet search: barrister told client to keep quiet

Internet search: barrister told client to keep quiet

A barrister who encouraged a client to search online for damaging information about another member of the Bar, and then told her to deny that he had done so, has been reprimanded by a Bar disciplinary tribunal.

It is the second reprimand from a tribunal for Mohammed Omar Faruk, who was called 1996, in eight months.

The tribunal ruling said he was “found to have failed to act with integrity in that, in the course of a telephone conversation with Ms X a client whom he had previously represented and who had also previously been represented by Mr Y, a barrister and professional colleague, invited Ms X to look up the name of Mr Y on the internet well knowing that, when she did so, she would learn of matters which for Mr Y, had involved a matter of personal tragedy, but which Mr Faruk believed nonetheless would tend to damage his reputation in the eyes of Ms X and that Mr Faruk acted with the intention of causing such damage and laughed when doing so”.

Further, Mr Faruk “failed to act with honesty, alternatively failed to act with integrity, in that in the course of a telephone conversation with Ms X referred to above, having invited Ms X to look up the name of Mr Y on the internet, Mr Faruk told Ms X that the conversation was “confidential” and should you ever be asked about it, you would deny that it had taken place”.

Mr Faruk was reprimanded and fined £500, although the decision is still open to appeal.

Last November, Mr Faruk was reprimanded and fined £300 after admitting that he had talked to jurors at Basildon Railway Station after a trial where he had appeared before them, and asked them about the basis for their verdict.

However, though this was in breach of his duty to the court in the administration of justice, the tribunal heard that the conversation was unintentional.



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

Rating lawyers by their wins and losses – a good idea?

Robert Ambrogi

Lawyers will give you any number of reasons why their win-loss rates in court are not accurate reflections of their legal skills. Yet a growing number of companies are evaluating lawyers by this standard – compiling and analysing lawyers’ litigation track records to help consumers and businesses make more-informed hiring decisions. The shortcomings of evaluating lawyers by win rates are many. Not least of them is that so few cases ever make it to a win or loss. Of equal concern is that, in the nuances of law practice, it is not always obvious what constitutes a win or a loss.

February 22nd, 2017