A BPTC graduate who brought 30 failed employment tribunal claims has been disbarred

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By Thomas Connelly on

After accumulating plenty of valuable work experience, his pupillage dream is over


An aspiring barrister who sent off more than 150 pupillage applications without receiving an interview has been disbarred after bringing 30 failed employment tribunal claims that were either “weak or hopeless”.

John Iteshi, 40, who completed the then Bar Vocational Course (now the Bar Professional Training Course) back in 2007, made dozens of claims over a four-year period against Transport for London, London Underground, British Telecommunications and over 25 legal recruiters.

In 2012 Iteshi even dragged the Bar Council through an employment tribunal, claiming that the minimum pupillage award on offer at the time was indirectly discriminatory to black Africans. Reporting on the unusual claim at the time, Legal Cheek revealed that the aspiring barrister had lost his tribunal and the subsequent appeal.

Last year — as a result of his trigger-happy attitude to bringing claims — Itsehi was the subject of an application on “restriction of proceedings” by the Attorney General. Presumably sick of the sight of him, Mr Justice Mitting, sitting in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, accepted the application.

Justice Mitting, ruling at the time, said:

All claims have alleged direct and indirect race discrimination. All but one [the claim against the Bar Council] have alleged at the start sex discrimination as well, and some have alleged victimisation. None has succeeded. Many have been struck out as having no reasonable prospect of success.

He continued, clearly shocked at the extent of Iteshi’s frivolous claims, stating he had…

…never encountered and am unaware of any other case in which so many claims of this nature have been brought by one individual over a period of no more than four years.

In an affidavit sworn at the time, Iteshi said that he hoped to “highlight” to the court “the shamelessness of the crooked individuals hiding behind judicial immunity and their evil cloak of infallibility, who are pursuing this claim”.

A Bar Disciplinary Tribunal, ruling last week, concluded that Iteshi had…

…behaved in a way which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in the legal profession.

Iteshi, who studied for his Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at London Metropolitan University in 2004 before completing the bar course in 2007 — enabling him to call himself a barrister without actually practising — claimed he had made over 150 pupillage applications without receiving a single interview.

Prior to doing the GDL, Iteshi got a 2:2 in psychology at the University of Nigeria, which he followed up with a master’s degree in employment studies and human resources management at the University of North London in 2003.

The tribunal’s ruling is open to appeal.


Dismissed: Wannabe barrister’s claim that minimum pupillage award is discriminatory to black Africans [Legal Cheek]