A barrister currently serving a suspension for conducting litigation without authorisation has now received a hefty fine for failing to attend an Upper Tribunal hearing without good reason.
Sellappah Job Joseph was fined £5,000 by a Bar disciplinary tribunal – a large sum by its standards, although a tenth of the maximum it can fine – for failing to act in the best interests of his client, and not co-operating with the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
Mr Joseph, called in 1983, was acting for a client bringing judicial review proceedings before the immigration and asylum chamber of the Upper Tribunal, and an oral application was scheduled for last November. He was instructed to attend.
But he failed to do so, to inform the tribunal, to arrange for alternative representation or to seek an adjournment. He also advised his client not to attend.
In all instances, the Bar tribunal found that Mr Joseph had not provided a good reason for his actions.
The BSB tried to contact him on five occasions over four months to respond to a complaint, but the Bar tribunal said he did not provide “promptly any or any sufficient information, material or other proper response”.
Earlier this year, Mr Joseph was suspended for 12 months for conducting litigation on behalf of his client during divorce proceedings without the necessary authorisation between 1 March 2015 and 31 May 2016.
This included filing a notice of acting, an acknowledgment of service and writing to the complainant’s solicitors indicating he was instructed to act, all without having received the approval of the BSB to conduct litigation.
Meanwhile, another barrister currently suspended has been fined £500 for failing to respond to the BSB over a complaint made against him.
Oliver White, called in November 2001, has been suspended five times, most recently for working during one of his previous suspensions.
Other recent cases before the Bar tribunals include Nadeem Aullybocus, called in 2001, who was reprimanded and fined £2,000 for not filing any VAT returns over eight years to 31 January 2015, and Ian Dacre, called in 1991, fined £720 for not completing his CPD in 2014, and not responding promptly to six letters from his regulator over the course of 13 months.