Now that I have made a clean breast of my activities in the Strand, I expect the Metropolitan Police will seek my arrest.
Pretending to be a barrister is a criminal offence. It is regulated by the Legal Services Act 2007 and is punishable by a prison term of up to two years. It is also a contempt of court.
There have been several cases in England in recent years.
Monika Juneja was sentenced to 14 months suspended for two years , though she didn’t ever appear in court.
Amir Salem spent 20 years pretending to be a barrister and a brain surgeon. He won a case at Manchester but suspicions were raised because of his “nonsensical legal propositions”. In NI he would have got Silk. He got 4 years and 4 months.
David Evans represented a friend he had met in jail. He was rumbled , according to press reports because of discrepancies in his clothing and a series of hopelessly wrong legal submissions. Poor pleading is one thing but wearing brown shoes to court is beyond the pale.
Paul Bint pretended to be Keir Starmer and Orlando Pownall [though not at the same time] in order to woo women. The BBC said that he wore a pinstriped suit and carried papers tied up in pink ribbon. He had previously impersonated an aristocrat, a ballet dancer, a banker, a doctor , a playboy and a policeman. I think his mistake was to imagine that he could impersonate a ballet dancer AND Orlando Pownall.
The Bar Standards Board, says that in some cases it will refer matters to police “about people pretending to be a barrister” [sic]. I’d like to see that, does it happen at carnival?
So I fear that at dead of night the Met will hammer in my door, assisted by the TSG.
I will , of course , give a “no comment ” interview.
But, Dear Reader, on a serious note, how to know if your barrister is real? Here are some tips.
- Does the person seem to be healthy and without vices, such as excess alcohol consumption?
- Does he/she seem calm and show no sign of being a psychopath?
- Does the person speak to you politely, listen to what you have to say and explain matters to you?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to all the above the person before you is undoubtedly a fake and you should call 101.