Barrister who bought drugs from criminal clients disbarred

Hendron: Backed tribunal’s decision

A barrister jailed for 14 months for obtaining drugs from two men he was representing has been disbarred after his fourth appearance before a Bar disciplinary tribunal.

Henry Hendron said he supported the decision, telling the panel he would have done the same in their shoes.

Mr Hendron, who was called in 2006, was sentenced last year after messages on his mobile phone revealed he had asked to buy to buy Class A methamphetamine and then-Class C GBL. He was arrested outside Belmarsh prison in May 2022 while visiting one of the men as his lawyer.

He was convicted of possessing a controlled Class A drug and intentionally encouraging/assisting the men to commit a criminal offence by supplying him with Class A and Class C drugs.

The Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against sentence in April, saying the fact that a lawyer encouraged criminal clients to supply him with drugs was “a very serious aggravating factor”.

The tribunal’s ruling will be published in the coming weeks, but according to the Bar Standards Board, it found that Mr Hendron had damaged public trust and confidence and undermined his integrity and independence.

He also had a previous criminal and disciplinary record, including for drug related offences, which were taken into account in making the order to disbar.

A BSB spokesman said: “Possessing and encouraging the supply of Class A drugs is clearly a very serious matter. The conduct for which Mr Hendron was convicted, including being involved in his client’s criminal activity, is clearly entirely unacceptable behaviour for a barrister and the tribunal’s decision to disbar him reflects this.”

Writing on X, Mr Hendron said: “New Pastures ahead! last week I said farewell to the Bar, albeit at the Bars behest after 5 judges concluded my disciplinary with a red card. I support the decision & told the judges that if I were in their seat, I would disbar me. Grateful for the past.”

He describes himself in his X profile as a “lawyer with a past” – the term ‘lawyer’ is not protected and anyone can use it.

In 2017, Mr Hendron was suspended from practising for three years following his conviction on two charges of possessing controlled so-called ‘designer chemsex’ drugs (mephedrone, known as ‘meow meow’, and GBL) with intent to supply. Tragically, the drugs led to the death of his teenage boyfriend at a party.

The suspension was backdated to the date of conviction in May 2016, when he was sentenced to a compulsory unpaid work order of 140 hours, with a supervision requirement.

Shortly after his return to practice in 2019, he was suspended again for three months after he failed to comply with a determination of the Legal Ombudsman to pay a complainant £850.

However, the decision was overturned in 2020 by the High Court because he was already suspended at the time of the events. The Bar Standards Board admitted that the case had exposed a “lacuna” in its rules and the legislative framework.

Then, in 2021, Mr Hendron was reprimanded and prohibited from undertaking public access work for two years after another Bar disciplinary tribunal found that he had practised during his three-year suspension.

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