A Bar disciplinary tribunal has found ‘named and shamed’ barrister Tariq Rehman guilty of misconduct for a second time.
In its latest ruling, the tribunal found that Mr Rehman had delayed or failed to refund fees and pay compensation awards to clients.
In December 2014 the immigration barrister became the first and only lawyer to be ‘named and shamed’ by the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) after it upheld 25 complaints against him in two years.
In a newly published decision notice, the Bar tribunal said Mr Rehman, as head of Kings Court Chambers in Birmingham, “failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that his chambers were administered competently and efficiently and were properly staffed” in that a £1,100 payment to a lay client as a refund of fees was delayed by five months in 2012.
The tribunal described the offence as “serious”, and occurred “by reason of administrative incompetence or inefficiency of Tariq Rehman or staff employed by him”, and failure to comply with the Code of Conduct.
Mr Rehman was found guilty of three further offences of failing to pay public access clients by way of refund of fees or compensation recommended by LeO – payments was delayed by four months and seven months in two of the cases, while a payment of £2,900 from May 2014 has still not been made.
The tribunal deferred the sentencing of Mr Rehman.
In January 2015, in the wake of LeO’s initial announcement, an interim suspension panel ruled that Mr Rehman could continue to practise as a barrister, pending the outcome of any disciplinary action, but should be prevented from taking on any new public access cases for four months.
Then in April 2015, in an unrelated matter, a Bar disciplinary panel ruled that Mr Rehman should be suspended for two months for failing to pay three barristers for work they had carried out.
The barrister responded to LeO’s action by going on the offensive, arguing that the complaints body was “misleading” in failing to comment on the 97% of clients of his chambers who had not complained and saying he was “trying to adapt to new market forces”.