Non-compliant barrister given another three-year practising ban

Court of Appeal: Barrister already banned after withdrawing from case

A barrister already prevented from practising for three years after withdrawing from a case without telling his client will now have to wait another three years after another finding against him.

This was Matthew John Boyden third appearance before the tribunal. It found that he failed to be open and co-operative with his regulator and failed to comply in due time with an administrative sanction imposed on him by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) in 2016.

The new order prevents Mr Boyden, called in 2007, from obtaining a practising certificate for a further three years from February 2021.

The first three-year ban came in 2019 when a tribunal found that, having appeared before the criminal division of the Court of Appeal when the client’s case was adjourned, he did not notify his chambers “clearly or at all” that he had decided to withdraw from it.

Further, he actually told his clerks that he was available to attend the appeal hearing and did not say in reply to subsequent messages from them that he was not. Mr Boyden assured his client that his chambers had taken over the case, but in fact had not taken steps to ensure alternative representation.

Mr Boyden also did not respond to a request for an update from the Registrar of the Court of Appeal and failed to co-operate with the BSB in its investigation. He was fined £11,500 as well.

In 2014, he was found to have engaged in conduct “which was likely to bring the legal profession into disrepute” by failing to comply with a county court judgment and failing fully to comply with a deputy district judge’s order made in the same case.

Once again, he failed to respond promptly to emails from the BSB. Mr Boyden was suspended for six months and fined £1,000 as a result. In 2015, He joined Queen Square Chambers in Bristol but has been an unregistered barrister since 1 April 2016.

The 2019 tribunal noted that Mr Boyden had “an appalling history, over a short period of time, of failing blatantly to comply with requests from information from the regulator in particular”.

Commenting on the latest order, a BSB spokesman said: “When a barrister is found to have committed professional misconduct, it is vital for public confidence that they comply with sanctions that have been imposed.

“Mr Boyden’s repeated failure to do so is a serious matter and this is reflected in the tribunal’s decision.”

The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal at this time.

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