17 September 2019

Barrister Mark William Smith ordered to be suspended for one month for failing to provide a competent standard of work to a client

5 July 2018

Barrister Mark William Smith has been ordered to be suspended from practice for one month by an independent disciplinary tribunal following charges of professional misconduct brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).

The tribunal's decision comes after Mr Smith, between October 2013 and July 2015, failed to advise a client properly on the implications of bringing a private criminal prosecution including the fact that a costs order could be made against his client. The prosecution was taken over by the CPS and the case was discontinued.  The client was subsequently made the subject of a substantial costs order. The tribunal found that the failure to advise properly amounted to Mr Smith providing an incompetent standard of work to his client.

The tribunal also reprimanded Mr Smith for failing to retain - or taking reasonable steps to ensure his client retained - a record of the oral advice that he provided to his client. This was found to be in breach of BSB rules for public access barristers.  

BSB Director of Professional Conduct, Sara Jagger, said: "One of the core professional duties for all barristers is to provide a competent standard of work and service to their clients. The tribunal's finding of misconduct reflects the importance placed on this duty."

The tribunal's decision is open to appeal.



Notes to editors

About Mr Mark William Smith

Mark William Smith was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in March 1997.

About disciplinary tribunals

The appointment, operation, and decisions (including sentencing) of disciplinary tribunal panels are the responsibility of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS). BTAS is run independently of the Bar Standards Board, the barristers' regulator, which is responsible for bringing charges of professional misconduct against barristers before BTAS.

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t


Contact: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk .