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Blogging barrister refers himself to the Bar Standards Board after committing ‘very serious’ contempt of court

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Henry Hendron’s “ringside” coverage of the Nigel Evans trial lands him in hot water.

Henry-Hendron-tweet

Strand Chambers’ Henry Hendron has committed a “a very serious contempt of court” while blogging about the sexual assault trial of Nigel Evans, which saw the Tory MP acquitted of all charges yesterday.

Hendron attended the trial as a friend of Evans and wrote “daily coverage” from a “ringside view from within the court house”. But his musings “startled” alleged victims as they prepared to give “extremely personal evidence on potentially embarrassing matters,” said Evans’ own lawyer, Peter Wright QC. He added that Hendron’s comments were “irresponsible and jeopardised the trial process.”

The judge in the case has reported Hendron to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, saying: “This is a prima facie contempt of court and it could influence jurors too. This is a very serious contempt.” It has since been confirmed that the A-G won’t be issuing proceedings.

Hendron has now deleted the blog posts in question. In court yesterday he apologised and told the judge that he had referred himself to the Bar Standards Board (BSB):

“I’m deeply, deeply sorry for a huge misjudgement, it was not intended to cause harm. I am not a criminal barrister, I am a civil barrister. I put a blog online with the full intention of commenting in an upbeat manner for my friend Nigel Evans and it was not designed to cause any difficulty.

“Some of Oscar Pistorius’s friends had done something similar. As soon as it was drawn to my attention by Mr Wright as a possible contempt I took it down straight away. I didn’t put my mind to it, I’m sorry it has wasted the court’s time, I have self-referred myself to the Bar Standards because I recognise it is a serious situation brought about by my lapse of judgement.”

In the meantime, Hendron may consider brushing up on courtroom rules and etiquette by consulting this YouTube video that he created in 2012 to help novices with procedure at trial.

21 Comments

Dimbleworth

An excellent chambers profile combines the best in celebrity razzle dazzle with the worst in punctuation:

http://strand-chambers.co.uk/barristers/henry-hendron/

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D_T_T

The reference to Oscar Pistorius in the statement is frankly incredible given that it comes from a barrister. Joe Public might be forgiven for getting mixed up over which rules apply but Oscar Pistorius is, despite wall-to-wall UK media coverage, on trial in South Africa. South African law is notably very different in what can be said and publicised in trial proceedings, mostly due to the fact it is a judge, not a jury that decides the accused’s guilt. Baffled how referring to publicity around a foreign case is supposed to help here.

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Neil

Whoever drafted and proof read that bio needs shooting. Appalling typos and grammar throughout. Grrrr.

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Denning

“Some of Oscar Pistorius’s friends had done something similar”…face plant.

The birth of ”twitter lawyer” is one which I certainly lament, whatever the purpose or content of the tweet…wannabe celebrity lawyers tweeting left right and centre about what they had for breakfast, their primitive thoughts on x case, who’s wearing what in the office …blah blah blah, if you’ve got something to say do a seminar or write an article, but wait, that would require time, effort and brains.

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Anon

I especially like the chambers pupillage policy:

PUPILS – Chambers next expects to recruit during Hilary, 2014 and will entertain informal approaches during Michaelmas 2013 but will not undertake any commitments outside the established recruitment and pupillage policies.

One assumes alcohol and the right public school tie make up the essential components for an ‘informal approach’.

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John

Ha ha ha, I love your words Anon! I never thought of it that way but, me thinks you might be on the right track. I hear both Hendron brothers are now members of UKIP. I wonder if the other Nigel will put up with their antics?

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Chris

I’d definitely want representation from “one of the Countries leading public access barristers”.

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Chris

It’s interesting that Henry and his brother Richard ended up at the same chambers. I do hope the recruitment process was open and fair an in accordance with BSB guidelines and that no disappointed candidates, or candidates who would have wished to apply had the pupillage’s been publicly advertised, make a complaint otherwise.

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John

Chris, I say you are on the right track. Keep digging mate and you will find the gold!
The tweeter thing was premeditated by Hendron. The fact that he had the audacity to apologise to the court by stating he did not know it was wrong is balls. What barrister would not know? It’s all about Hendron! He did not give a dame about Evans, he Just wanted publicity and, as they say.. Any publicity is better than no publicity. He is so low that he took all the glory from another barrister in the Sugar and English case. I hear it was a female barrister that was the brain behind the win. This guy will be glorifying in all of this. I predict he will end up infamous and not famous!

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Chris

*pupillages. Damn autocorrect. FML.

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DanHLawReporter

Absolute joke. Gives the Bar a bad name at a time when it needs all the help it can get. I hope the BSB comes down on this like a tonne of hot coal.

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Denning

I hope the BSB acts proportionately, nothing more and nothing less.

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Dimbleworth

“Unlike most other public access barristers, Henry has his own private office and personal support team who are dedicated to meeting the needs of his clients, meaning that Henry is able to offer his clients a level of support and service that is almost unrivaled at the bar.”

Great. I am so tired of meeting counsel at McDonalds.

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John

Dimlewoth, I like your observation. Most public access barristers work from offices. They are know in the trade as Chambers. They have their own team too. Clerks! That Hendron chap twists everything including his lack of knowledge about knowing it was wrong to tweet! He may have a few friends in parliament but really!

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William

Interesting that his own web news page trumpets his recent success in a criminal case – see entry for 7th jan 2014 http://www.henryhendron.com/Barrister_Henry_Hendron/News.html

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Niteowl Attorney

From the ‘man’s website “Barrister Hendron wins whole house for his client in matrimonial finance dispute ”

A whole house!

Odious? No. Gaudy? Not really. Just a whole website that should be required to have a flashing neon declaration at the top of each page “Past results do not indicate or guarantee future success, and having a jabot wearing doppelganger makes me look like a —-ing idiot” like lawyers here are required to do (not wear a jabot to make a point in court that is, and not make such declarations as to past results without being regarded as —-ing idiots). Perhaps an Act of Parliament there would do the trick.

But I’m just a niteowl – I wouldn’t know. HOOT HOOT. Niteowls don’t want for houses.

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Annie Onimouse

I love the way he describes himself as Barrister Hendron on his website. It’s like Sergeant Buzzfuzz.

Plainly, it’s the future. If only Jonathan Sumption had insisted on describing himself as Barrister Sumption, imagine what he could have achieved!

http://www.henryhendron.com/Barrister_Henry_Hendron/News.html

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John Yale

It seems Barrister Hendron (as he like to describe himself) managed to annoy an entire branch of the legal profession in court by describing Legal Executives as not being lawyers! I bet CILEX just loves that ‘submission’!

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Mr Hardy

Only if you Mr Anthony George Steven Halliday aka Steven Hayden was in fact a member of CILEx, which you still are NOT! Neither are your many companies, which are struck off over a period of past 10 years – just about time you were made bankrupt!

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christine

hmm – extraordinary – could it be that Barrister Hendron is accessible and affordable to those who are forced down the legal route and do not have an open cheque book – they have children and bills and have no appetite for court – the alternative of self representation is like lamb to slaughter. QC’s have twitter accounts Sally harrison in St Johns Chambers has a twitter account accessible to the public – yet her much sought after skills are not accessible to the public ? Public schools and their ties – can they really cause so much upset from the non -public school tie brigade ?

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Peter Newman

Barrister Newman today secured a fantastic victory for his client, the entire internet, by leaving a comment on an article. Speaking generally outside court, Barrister Newman said “I am personally responsible for the success of the internet”

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