inns of court

Barrister’s behaviour was “wholly inappropriate”

A senior barrister has been fined £4,000 by a Bar disciplinary tribunal for conduct “of sexual nature” towards his female pupil.

David Giles, a pupil supervisor who was called to the Bar in 1988, was found by the tribunal to have “engaged in conduct which was likely to bring the profession into disrepute”.

The tribunal found that between 6 June 2012 and 31 August 2012, Mr Giles, who is based at 1 Gray’s Inn Square, engaged in “conduct of sexual nature towards Miss X, his pupil, which was wholly inappropriate having regard to his position as her pupil supervisor”.

His behaviour was found likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or the administration of justice or otherwise bring the legal profession into disrepute, and to be professional misconduct.

The tribunal, which in an unusual move sat in private, did not give any further details of the conduct. Mr Giles was fined £4,000 for the offence but the finding is listed as “open to appeal”.

Legal Futures left a message for Mr Giles but has not received a reply.

Meanwhile David Hyde, a barrister based at Clapham Law Chambers, has been rebuked by a separate tribunal for engaging in conduct likely to diminish public confidence in the profession and failing to assist the court in the administration of justice.

The tribunal found that he was acting for two defendants on the first day of a civil trial listed at the Central London County Court. The case was called on at around 10.30 a.m. “The claimants were absent in circumstances where David Hyde knew, but failed to inform the court, that a previous sealed order had included a direction that the parties should not attend before 11am on the first day of the trial. The claimants’ claims were dismissed, with costs, in their absence.

“After the conclusion of the hearing, at around 11am, David Hyde met one of the claimants in the court building. David Hyde knew that the complainant had attended for the purposes of the trial. David Hyde failed to take any steps to bring to the court’s attention to the fact that the claimant had attended court.”

Mr Hyde told Legal Futures he would not be appealing against the sentence, which he said was “as light as it could be”, and said no costs were awarded against him. He said two further charges were brought against him, both “very serious”, were later dropped.

“What annoys me more than anything is that it was quite obvious that the first two charges, which could have got me disbarred, should not have been brought at all. They caused me a great deal of worry in the meantime.”

Mr Hyde said he was representing a letting agent against a landlord when the incident which gave rise to the misconduct charges arose. “It was a complicated case and the matters to be considered at court were not too obvious. The case was going to be heard by one judge, but ended up being heard by another.”

Mr Hyde praised his legal team of Simon Monty QC and James Preece, a partner at Clyde & Co, and said it was “not a good idea to defend these things yourself”.

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