Regulator demands young London lawyer cough up £2,000 for misconduct, while his Bar Council election bid goes down in flames
Barrister and direct access proselytiser Henry Hendron has not had the best of recent weeks.
Not only has his bid for election to the Bar Council foundered on the rocks of electoral reality, but the regulator has slapped the lad with a £2,000 fine for professional misconduct.
In a recently-released finding, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) found that Middle Temple member Hendron had:
“behaved in a manner which could reasonably be seen by the public to undermine his integrity and diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in the profession”.
The eight-year call junior at London’s Strand Chambers got into hot water for publishing a blog last March that contained “disparaging statements against witnesses” in a trial that was scheduled to kick off the next day.
That trial — heard at Preston Crown Court — involved the high-profile case of former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Nigel Evans MP, who was ultimately acquitted of nine counts of sexual offences.
Hendron, who was a chum of Evans, blogged:
“I am a barrister, but I shall not be representing Nigel at court. My involvement is one of providing advice, assistance and support in this difficult time. Criminal law is not really my thing. It doesn’t usually pay for a start. Don’t get me wrong. I have done my share of Crown Court trials, but my practice has, inexplicably, meant that I have tended to represent the well-heeled and the well off in civil and family courts.
“Most of the complainants’ (who cannot be identified for legal reasons) are known largely as self-serving, with their own political agendas, with a manipulative and selfish streak. A number of them that I know of are connected to each other, and indeed only a week prior to Nigel’s arrest, he was socialising with some of them. In my view, knowing what I know, some of these people are not victims but duplicitous individuals, acting together in a pack like mentality to bring down a well-respected and well-known politician; I suspect in the fullness of time some of them will waive their right to anonymity to cash in their ‘stories’.”
At the time, the judge referred Hendron’s remarks to the Attorney General, and for a while it looked as though the perky barrister might be in line for a contempt charge. But the AG chose not to pursue the matter.
And to be fair, Hendron reported himself to the Bar Standards Board (BSB), which reprimanded him as well as levying that relatively chunky fine.
Hendron had hoped the kerfuffle over the Evans trial blogs wouldn’t derail his campaign to shake up the Bar Council — but for whatever reason the voters have rejected his candidacy.