‘Public access barrister’ practised while suspended

A barrister has been disbarred after he accepted instructions and acted for clients – including appearing in court – when he knew he was not authorised to do so.

Barrister wig

Peter Wareing, called in October 2004, was suspended from practice between July 2021 to January 2022 over hostile emails and making a false statement to a judge.

He faced the Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service again after acting for clients during his suspension. Two charges against Wareing were dismissed, but the five-person panel found the other four charges proved.

While his practising certificate was suspended, Wareing ‘acted without integrity’ in accepting instructions to act for clients. He conducted reserved legal activities while holding himself out as a barrister ‘in particular’ by using his chambers email account, mentioning his chambers in his email signature, failing to disclose his suspension, maintaining online profiles referring to himself as a practising barrister and acting where there were no solicitors on record. He did this ‘in circumstances where he knew that he was not authorised to practise,’ the tribunal ruling states.

Wareing’s activities included filing a skeleton argument, sending correspondence to solicitors and appearing before a judge, for cases heard in the Business and Property Court, Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court, Lewes County Court and Coventry County Court, as well as Birmingham Employment Tribunal.

The bar tribunal also found he had accepted public access instructions from or on behalf of a public access client without being properly qualified in five different cases.

Wareing was disbarred with his suspension of practice rights, pending appeal, to start on 10 May. He was also ordered to pay £12,003.60 to the Bar Standards Board.

A BSB spokesperson said: ‘The public should be able to expect barristers to behave with integrity and comply with orders made by a disciplinary tribunal. Deliberately and repeatedly failing to comply with a suspension from practice carries real risks of both harm to public confidence in the profession and its regulation.

‘There are also risks to Mr Wareing’s actual and potential clients. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Wareing demonstrates the seriousness of such misconduct as well as the repeated nature of his failures to comply with his regulatory obligations.’

The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.


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