Fake barrister

Today’s Guardian reminds us to watch our wigs and get our submissions right.

Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Mrs Justice Laura Cox, sitting at Bristol Crown Court has sentenced David Evans to 18 months imprisonment for impersonating a barrister. Here was a man with a “grandiose sense of self-importance” who posed as a barrister to represent a friend.

David Evans chatted in the advocates’ dressing room and even got into the cells to visit his “client”, cannabis farmer Terry Moss.

H H Judge Stephen Wildblood, presiding in the confiscation hearing noticed that Evans wore a solicitor’s gown and a barrister’s wig.  To compound his mistake, his legal submissions were “hopelessly wrong”. When the judge questioned Evans about his legal qualifications, he admitted he had none.

Mrs Justice Laura Cox told Evans, “the planning of this enterprise was entirely yours, it was your decision to style yourself as a senior advocate. You are a complex and clearly intelligent man … you have a grandiose sense of self-importance.”

Evans told the court he was a “senior advocate” at a London law firm. H H Judge Stephen Wildblood, became suspicious, and noted, ”although there may be circumstances in which a solicitor may wear a wig, it struck me immediately as strange. I was surprised to see the confusion of court attire.”

Evans was arrested and charged with “carrying out reserved legal activities when not entitled to” and “wilfully pretending to be a person with the right of audience”. He had denied both charges, yet a Bristol jury took 30 minutes to convict.

The blogger wonders how Evans would have fared against the Quality Assurance Scheme for advocates? Perhaps level 2?


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