Barrister suspended over Royal baby tweets returns to work

Toch: Onwards

The barrister suspended from the innovative family law business she founded after being accused of making racist comments about the latest Royal baby has returned to work.

Joanna Toch of the Family Law Café said no evidence of any discriminatory practice was found in a review of her conduct.

Ms Toch found herself in hot water last month after responding to a tweet from controversial writer Julie Burchill, who described the name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, Lilibet Diana, as “a missed opportunity”.

Referring to George Floyd, she said: “They could’ve called it Georgina Floydina!”

Ms Toch replied: “No Doria? Don’t black names matter?” Doria Ragland is Meghan Markle’s mother.

Ms Burchill answered that she “was hoping for Doria Oprah, the racist rotters”, to which Ms Toch responded: “Doprah?”

The exchange sparked heavy criticism on social media, with several sharing the procedure to complain to the Bar Standards Board.

Ms Toch apologised but the Family Law Café said she had been suspended pending an internal review.

The barrister is one of two directors of the company and she said the investigation was instigated and carried out by the other director.

“The views of all current and a sample of previous customers were obtained as to whether I had ever acted in any discriminatory way,” she said.

“I was also fortunate that many previous clients, barristers, solicitors (instructing and opposing), suppliers, members of the public, friends, family and neighbours kindly stepped forward to send information about what they knew about me and my work.”

She said in a statement that “no evidence of any discriminatory practice was found. I am extremely fortunate to have a 30-year body of work, aligned to my values, that speaks for who I am and what I am about”.

She continued: “I am back heading Family Law Cafe. We know our platform allows members of the public to access justice at a reasonable price and the legal profession and other suppliers to get a fair income for their work with technology used to keep costs in check and cutting through the boring fluff and nonsense that drives up fees.

“I would like to see an invigorated junior end of the legal profession. There is an unfulfilled demand from those struggling with the family legal system for legal assistance at a price they can afford, whilst those with talent cannot make a start due to a high fees culture driven by high overheads. Onwards.”

Ms Toch told Legal Futures that she has not had any contact from the Bar Standards Board about the events.

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