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Ukip man calls himself ‘Barrister-at-Law’ despite not doing pupillage — BSB says it’s OK

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Bar regulator relaxed — and Bar Council silent — about protecting professional title

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The housing and environment spokesman for anti-EU party UKIP refers to himself as a ‘barrister at law’ despite having never completed pupillage.

Gray’s Inn member Andrew Charalambous completed the old Bar Vocational Course and was subsequently called in 1989. However, he failed to do a stint as a pupil and is therefore not allowed to practise as a barrister.

But this hasn’t stopped Charalambous, who is now a successful property developer, from referring to himself as a “Barrister-at-Law” on his Facebook and LinkedIn pages, as well as on his personal website.

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According to The Independent newspaper earlier this year, Charalambous placed 10th in its “benefit housing rich list”, bagging a cool £826,395 through his property empire, most of is rented to social housing tenants.

The UKIPer hit the headlines again last October when The Times (£) maintained that Charalambous had “faked” his education credentials by wrongly claiming to have a PhD in parallels between Plato’s Utopia and Spartan Society and a professorship in environmental science.

The report also made reference to the property developer and landlord being a “qualified Barrister-at-Law.” However, according to The Times, Charalambous removed this from his personal website the evening before the story broke.

Charalambous vehemently rejects The Times’ report, standing by his academic claims. And Legal Cheek can reveal that Charalambous still uses the term “Barrister-at-Law” on various profiles, including LinkedIn, Facebook and his personal website that The Times claimed he had removed.

Charalambous told Legal Cheek today that “Barrister-at-Law is in itself a qualification in its own right”. He went on to acknowledge that the “Bar Standards Board rightly takes action against non-practising Barristers who inappropriately supply legal services”.

In relation to his claimed academic qualifications, the UKIP man said he had a doctorate in business administration, and that he was particularly proud of his honorary professorship at The Universitas, which he described as “the educational and cultural arm of the Ordo Byzantinuis Sancti Sepulchri OBSS … an international organisation with more than 10,000 members globally, including leaders in business, politics and others in public life”. Charalambous also claimed to hold the title of “honorary Colonel of the State of Kentucky”.

The Bar Standards Board told Legal Cheek that Charalambous was free to use the term ‘Barrister-at-Law’, provided it was not in connection with the supply or offer of legal services. While the Bar Council — the de facto trade union for the profession — did not respond to requests for comment on whether it should be lobbying the regulator to tighten the rules.

So as long as he sticks to his lucrative property empire, he’s free to be Andrew Charalambous,’Barrister-at-Law’.

19 Comments

HempShoes

Honorary Colonel of the State of Kentucky? Does this ‘Barrister-at-law’ make fried chicken?

(14)(1)

anon

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz person qualified to use title uses title (in manner permitted)

Move on.

Bit like saying solicitor argues for a bail app in chambers at the Crown Court, not maybe what the public would assume, but perfectly permitted.

(13)(6)

Kuzka's Mother

You see that all the time. People who complete the BVC/BPTC/whatever and then don’t do a pupilage do like to throw that title around and pretend it means anything. Anyone who does that is not to be trusted. When challenged with the ‘So are you a barrister or a “barrister”?’ line, they hide behind the fact that they don’t offer any legal services or advice. So then why be allowed to call yourself a barrister?

But then again, I guess it’s a good selling point for providers (you’ll be a barrister-at-law when you complete it!) who can continue charging 18+ grand for the course, so there’s that as well.

(9)(2)

Prof Sir Concerned Tutor LLB LLM PhD Driving Licence (DVLA)

As long as we still have the right to call him a self-important idiot, I don’t mind what he calls himself.

(21)(0)

Lol

The only “doctorate” he has is the one that makes him look like Dr Evil from Austin Powers.

(11)(0)

u mad brah

Oh hey there Uncle Fester, didn’t know you rooted for UKIP too.

(7)(0)

Dan

I don’t see the issue. He has earned the title barrister by completing bvc/bptc and on becoming called by the inn. He is doing nothing wrong and acting in accordance with the rules. In fact, as far as I am aware, he doesn’t even have to state “barrister-at-law”. He can simply refer to himself as a barrister. I don’t understand the hate here. Is this from people who have done the LPC but have been unable to obtain a training contract and therefore are jealous they cannot refer to themselves as a solicitor-at-law?

(11)(6)

Anon

Agreed. He is able to call himself a barrister and is acting in accordance with the rules. There are a lot of people who are called to the bar calling themselves barristers which is perfectly acceptable. He has a successful property business and uses the barrister title. I do not see a problem. Are these negative comments from solicitors who had to do the 2 year training contract or those who are poorly paid barristers affected by legal aid cuts throwing hateful comments around?

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Love this comment i lol’d for a while

(0)(0)

winneillepu

Was he called to the Utter Bar?….. if so he is a barrister.

Does he hold himself out in connection with the supply of legal services?….. if no, then he is not committing any criminal offence, nor is he in breach of the Code of Conduct

(9)(2)

LJ Crookshanks

He looks like Voldemort.

(7)(0)

Sir Lord Harley of Counsel III FRSM

Amateur.

(19)(1)

Anonymous

I am more surprised he is using the title over 25 years following his BVC course!!!

Aside from the obvious UKIP issue, he seems to have been successful in the property market. I cannot see what he gains from a historic qualification when he has a track record in business to rely upon to gain kudos instead.

(6)(0)

Lord Harley of Harley

This man has nothing on my 30 royal colleges and 18 fellowships.

(8)(1)

Not-Guilty Nigel

And the problem is…?

(0)(0)

John smith

He probably accounted for the money correctly though – that’s how they know what his income was.

Any word on that £111,000 yet Lord Harley?

(1)(0)

dave

I think he looks like Richard O’Brien’s (of the Crystal Maze) evil twin

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I think permitted by BSB to call “barrister” without pupillage is due to lack of updating problem. Two vice Vera issues connected here (1) student coming from overseas studying Bptc does not need pupillage – so they can return home after and proudly use title “barrister” historic way-pupillage is out of question. Without pupillage all who is in e&w can use title if s/he Is not in English law practice – can call himself barrister. Should he do that? If not then what update is needed?

Ans- English chartered accountant or other profession does not call them CA or …. Until completed pupillage. BSB need to be updated as icaew.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Little known fact – the term Barrister-at-Law is meaningless and is said by Halsbury’s Laws to be “unknown to the Inns of Court.”
“A preference for the description ‘barrister’ has been expressed by the Bar Council.”

(2)(0)

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