15 September 2019

Barrister to be disbarred for tax fraud of almost £80,000

28 May 2014

A barrister who avoided paying over £77,000 in income tax and VAT was ordered to be disbarred from the profession, following an independent public disciplinary tribunal today.

The five person panel, chaired by former deputy circuit judge, HH Mr Stuart Sleeman, found that Mr Edward Agbaje had engaged in dishonest conduct, after he cheated the public revenue out of £77,265 in income and VAT between September 2004 and 17 March 2012.

Following an inspection from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, Mr Agbaje, now 61, was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey in London on 14 March 2013. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

He admitted the charge of professional misconduct.

His defence counsel, Ms Anesta Weekes QC, told the tribunal panel that Mr Agbaje had always intended to pay the revenue, but that he had "put his head in the sand" after not submitting his accounts for a number of years.

Head of Professional Conduct at the Bar Standards Board, Sara Jagger said: "Respect for the law should be in every barrister's DNA. Mr Agbaje has been convicted for a very serious crime. In doing so he has brought the profession into disrepute. No member of the public could be expected to ever have confidence in him as a barrister after this. The panel has made the right decision."

The panel heard that, to date, the outstanding monies have not been paid.


Notes to editors

About Mr Edward Paul Agbaje
Mr Agbaje was called to the Bar in November 1984.

About Disciplinary Tribunals
The Council of the Inns of Court (COIC) is an independent body - separate to the BSB - which is responsible for appointing the Disciplinary Tribunal panels which adjudicate on disciplinary charges brought by the BSB for professional misconduct. This function has been performed under COIC's auspices by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS).

Contact: for media enquiries please call 0207 6111 452 (07432 713 328 outside of normal working hours) or email EGrant@barstandardsboard.org.uk.