‘Beaumont on Barristers – A Guide to Defending Disciplinary Proceedings’ by Marc Beaumont
Published: June 2020
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‘Beaumont on Barristers – A Guide to Defending Disciplinary Proceedings’ is the first ever publication to examine professional disciplinary proceedings against barristers from the perspective of the defence. It is a significant, learned, but also user-friendly addition to the library of those involved in such proceedings, whether as advisers, advocates, adjudicators or protagonists.
Since 2006, the investigation and prosecution of barristers, has been undertaken by a body independent of the Bar Council – the Bar Standards Board. By the Legal Services Act 2007, the Bar Council (and so the BSB) gained statutory legitimacy as the regulator of barristers. Since then, there has been an unprecedented growth in litigation involving the BSB. The replacement of the Visitors to the Inns of Court with a right of appeal to the High Court by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, has led to a series of important High Court judgments.
The author begins by describing the traumatic and disruptive effect of disciplinary proceedings. He charts the effective collapse of the Bar’s system of discipline, leading to the creation of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service from 2014. He examines the leading Court of Appeal decision in the case of CR. He advises on the best approaches to a BSB investigation and examines the concept of ‘professional misconduct’ and the regulatory scheme. There is a seasoned advocate’s deconstruction of disciplinary trial preparation and conduct. The approach to sanctions is given distinct treatment, before a unique chapter on ‘Barristers and Human Rights’, examining the impact of ECHR Articles, 6, 8 and 10 on barrister discipline. Other chapters cover costs, disposal by consent, appeals to the Administrative Court and defending complaints made to the Legal Ombudsman.
This highly original book, which draws on unreported case law, takes an area of law that is misunderstood and stigmatised and elevates it to the level of a respectable legal specialism, whilst being both the reader’s friend and guide.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marc Beaumont has practised at the Bar of England and Wales for 35 years. He specialises in professional disciplinary law, defending barristers, solicitors, surveyors and other professionals against investigations and prosecutions brought by their regulators. In the barrister field, he has conducted, appeared in or advised in a number of leading and significant cases against the Bar Standards Board including, JR v Bar Standards Board  EWCA Civ 320 and all ten associated cases, O’C v Bar Standards Board (2012) Visitors, unrep., all of the appeals and judicial review applications culminating in Regina (CR) v Bar Standards Board  EWCA Civ 1630, JS v Bar Standards Board  EWHC 3015, SH v Bar Standards Board  4 WLR 54 and FK v Bar Standards Board  EWHC 2184, as well as Regina (K) v Institute of Legal Executives  1 All ER 1435, which extended Re P, a barrister  1 WLR 3019 (in which he appeared at trial). He has often been the draftsman of legal submissions, or adviser, in cases that do not mention his name or disclose his full role. Marc’s unique commitment to this work, his tenacity and his skill as an advocate, received national recognition otherwise hitherto withheld from a litigation adversary of the BSB, when the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme described him as “the Barrister’s Barrister“. Marc was the architect of the blueprint for the Bar’s Public Access scheme, which has dovetailed with this area of work to enable professionals to instruct barristers directly in disciplinary cases without incurring the cost of solicitors. Marc invented the Barristers’ Complaints Advisory Service in the mid-1990s (recently sadly abolished by the Bar Council and BSB) and has campaigned for 25 years for a proper, non-discretionary system of funded defence for the Bar in BSB cases. Marc also has a busy Chancery/Commercial practice and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
REVIEWS & TESTIMONIALS
“The book will be an invaluable resource for barristers facing disciplinary proceedings, and for those who represent them.”
– Law Society Gazette review by Gregory Treverton-Jones QC
“There is occasionally a book published on a subject, on which there has been no book previously, but on which, as soon as one sees from the book the scope and importance of its subject, one is amazed that there has never previously been a book … This book is a veritable goldmine. Without exception every chambers library needs a copy, in case a member suddenly is subject to a professional complaint. And I shall certainly have my copy at my side if I am again acting in a barrister disciplinary case.”
– Anthony Speaight QC, 4 Pump Court
“Marc Beaumont certainly hits the pressure points with his excellent new book … will not help him make friends and influence people in some quarters but will be of great assistance to the Defendant.”
– Phillip Taylor MBE
Chapter One – The Effect of Disciplinary Proceedings
Chapter Two – How Barrister Self-Regulation Failed
Chapter Three – Investigating Barristers – Traps and Tips
Chapter Four – What is Professional Misconduct?
Chapter Five – The Conduct Standards
Chapter Six – Trial Preparation and Conduct
Chapter Seven – Sanctions
Chapter Eight – Barristers and Human Rights
Chapter Nine – Costs in Disciplinary Cases
Chapter Ten – Consent Orders
Chapter Eleven – Appeals
Chapter Twelve – The Legal Ombudsman