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Barrister who admitted supplying drugs that killed teenage boyfriend is NOT struck off

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Henry Hendron avoided jail last year

hendron

A junior barrister has been suspended from the profession for three years — but not struck off — after admitting to supplying drugs that killed his 18-year-old boyfriend in 2015.

Henry Hendron, formerly of Strand Chambers, London, initially denied six charges relating to drug offences back in March 2016. However, just two weeks later, Hendron changed his mind, and pleaded guilty to two counts relating to possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. Legal Cheek understands that no evidence was given in relation to the other counts against him.

Following an independent disciplinary tribunal yesterday, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has now confirmed that Hendron has been suspended from practice for three years.

However, the junior lawyer could be back at the bar much sooner than that. According to the regulator, the suspension “takes effect from 17 May 2016, the date when he [Hendron] was originally made subject to an immediate suspension”.

The BSB’s director of professional conduct, Sara Jagger, said:

A conviction for supplying illegal drugs is a serious matter. In this case, it had tragic consequences. Mr Hendron failed to meet one of the core duties of a barrister, which is to uphold public trust and confidence. The suspension imposed by the tribunal reflects this.

The BSB’s statement, released this morning, also reveals that Hendron was fined £2,000 for “administrative failings as a head of chambers.” It continues:

These included failing to make sure fees earned by a particular barrister working in the chambers were properly and efficiently administered, and failing to give proper notice to a barrister when asking that barrister to leave the chambers.

The 35-year-old was first arrested in January 2015, after his boyfriend, Miguel Jimenez — who was a waiter in London — was found dead at his flat in the Temple. Reports at the time stated that police recovered a number of drugs from the junior barrister’s home address, including mephedrone, otherwise known as ‘meow meow’. A subsequent postmortem revealed that Jimenez had died of a drug overdose.

Appearing before the Old Bailey in May, the criminal law specialist — who was called to the bar in 2006 and charged £250 per consultation according to his personal website — was ordered to complete 140 hours of unpaid work and handed an 18-month supervision order.

Hendron came under fire from certain sections of the legal profession for speaking to the media prior to his sentencing. Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he revealed how his “whole world had collapsed” and that Jimenez’s death was “the most traumatic experience he’d ever been through”.

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68 Comments

Anonymous

Sounds rather like a plot from the Caper Court series of novels.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I loved them. Wonder what Sarah Colman would be doing now.

Shame that Caro Fraser set the books in a shipping set though (I think she practised/practises Admiralty) as that law is so dull it could never appear in the plots. A criminal set would have been more fun. Mind, the barristers would mostly have been broke.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

And the criminal barristers would have been too busy measuring their own dicks to partake in any of the actual plot.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

And that’s only the female Criminal Barristers……

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Check this out:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/my-twin-brothers-chemsex-trial-is-the-hardest-legal-case-of-my-l/

Unbelievable! If this was a plot for a TV programme, we would laugh and say it’s hopelessly far-fetched. Henry is obviously a great self-publicist. Google his website which doesn’t mention his suspension. Full of hyperbole and grammatical errors. I would take the news stories describing him as a celebrity barrister and a “senior civil barrister’s glittering career” with a large pinch of salt. Henry was a fool to instruct his twin brother to represent him in the Crown Court – he recently qualified despite puffing himself up as a “criminal justice expert” in the overblown personal profiles on the Strand Chambers website. He got a lucky break from Judge Marks who suspended his sentence of imprisonment. Call me old-fashioned, but Henry’s moral compass and judgment in buying controlled drugs with intent to supply to friends renders him unfit to practice as a barrister.

(31)(0)

Not Amused

A decision which is difficult to defend.

(55)(4)

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

I was under the impression that the Bar authorities are very strict. I thought if you’d stolen so much as a ketchup sachet from McDonalds you couldn’t practice.

Fail to understand how a person convicted of a serious crime can continue to practice law. He’s already been in trouble with the Bar, which makes this decision even more shocking.

(56)(2)

Him wot knows stuff

Connections, dear boy, connections.

Head of Chambers at 35? Connections.

When you think of what some solicitors have been struck off for, the fact that a barrister who was convicted of a serious criminal offence, supplying the drugs that caused the death of his teenage boyfriend, can still practice suggests.. connections!

(22)(0)

Anonymous

Nonsense.

This is a shocking decision but the boy has no “connections”. He is head of a chambers that he set up. Any junior can be “head of chambers” – you simply rent a room somewhere, call it chambers and call yourself head. He is a brilliant self-publicist and managed to get a fair amount of direct access work from members of the public who don’t know any better. I doubt he had any work from solicitors.

(16)(5)

Anonymous

Yes – he basically has the same sort of practice as Lawrence Power, but Lawrence Power is a far less effective self-publicist.

Having said that, Lawrence has somehow still managed to keep his head above water for far longer than Henry did.

(11)(0)

Anonymous

Already three separate referrals to the BSB in his brief career!

(12)(0)

Tordenskjold

What does a person have to do around here to get disbarred?

(33)(0)

Lord Harley

Don’t ask me!

(35)(0)

Anonymous

What privilege!

(8)(1)

Trumpenkrieg

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(4)

SingaporeSwing

Outrageous.

What do you actually have to do to get struck off?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Minor technical breach of Code

(22)(1)

Lapdancer and loving it

Don’t comply with your CPD requirements. The most serious failure of all…

(15)(0)

Pantman

Get drunk.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

A diversity-related offence.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Do you think he’ll come back after the suspension is up?

(2)(0)

John

If this was a solicitor being dealt with via the SRA you have to ask yourself if they would have come to the same decision!!

(13)(0)

Anonymous

Depends which firm the the solicitor was practising in, doesn’t it?

(2)(1)

Alex Shattock

I don’t think much of this guy, but I do I think the BSB’s decision is a very sensible one. It reflects 1) modern attitudes to drug use 2) the fact that he’s already been punished, both by the courts and emotionally 3) the attitude of the deceased’s family (very supportive) and 4) the fact that he’ll struggle to find work as a criminal barrister anyway.

As for the argument that criminals shouldn’t be allowed near the legal profession, call me a naive, quinoa-munching Guardian reader but I think everyone deserves a second chance if there are sufficiently mitigating circumstances. If we have businessmen still in their chosen profession after multiple bankruptcies, I don’t see why Mr Hendron shouldn’t have a second crack at the law- though I doubt he’ll make it in crime.

Bravo BSB!

(31)(40)

Anonymous

While I agree about the stuff about reflecting modern attitudes to drug use (especially as the bar is awash with cocaine use) – this is about the “rule of law” and consistency. – What about all the others who have been disbarred for much, much less? (for example, barrister disbarred for not tapping out on the train for a period of approx. 1 year, loss of railway company is £40K. In this case, someone actually lost their life).

I have no real problem with the outcome of this case, especially as HH seemed completely devastated, genuinely contrite. However, I feel the same reasoned, modern and lenient approach should be applied to all individuals.

(18)(3)

Anonymous

I think quite rightly, there is a distinction between offences of dishonesty and other criminal offences.

(16)(5)

Anonymous

Very fortunate sentence for him.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

@ Alex Shattock

Possibly. Except that businessmen don’t hold themselves out as pillars of the law, and a bankruptcy isn’t a life and death scenario. It’s also a civil matter.

This bloke was pretending to be a moral pillar by day, and supplying illegal substances by night.

(11)(2)

Anonymous

Absolute joke.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

I get the reason why, but I still think it’s silly that a minor dishonesty offence can get a lawyer struck off whereas a graver (but not dishonest) offence might not.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

A barrister who defrauds a train company of 40K by misusing an Oyster card over a 12 month period to avoid paying a return fare from his rural station into the City is not committing a minor offence of dishonesty. It is equivalent to a 40K benefits fraud which would attract a significant sentence under the Fraud Sentencing Guidelines.

(4)(0)

Chemsex Hendron

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

Should have been disbarred in my opinion. What was he doing messing about with an 18 year old. Think about the sentence if the boyfriend were 17 not 18

(14)(3)

Anonymous

Frankly, that’s his business and not within the remit of the regulator to question.

I agree with your first sentence though.

This just shows that even ‘trivial’ dishonesty matters (if dishonesty can ever be called trivial) are taken extremely seriously, whilst crimes with graver consequences are perhaps taken less seriously.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Wouldn’t care if he was 17.

If he was 15 then it would be different.

(12)(2)

Anonymous

He would still be a minor at 17. My thinking was towards supplying drugs to minors

(2)(1)

Anonymous

17 year olds will have easier access to dealers than a 35 year old.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

You sure you weren’t referring to the Sodomy?

(0)(4)

Anonymous

Why was a 35 year old barrister bonking an 18 year old waiter? Does this not seem like a rather odd match to anyone?

(8)(7)

Anonymous

The main case involving a younger person (female at 16) with a mid-30’s main was that while it was not illegal, it was morally reprehensible.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

Because they were both hot and consenting? HH is charismatic, generous and good-looking, and appears a lot younger than 35 in his civvies. Personally I partook in a lot more sex and drugs when I was a teenager than when I grew up, so that doesn’t particularly surprise me either.

Drugs in the London gay party scene are clearly considered so normal that the legality of sharing them around is barely a consideration. I’m sure he knew his friends had no interest in shopping him and had no intention of harming anyone. Poor judgement yes, with hindsight, but not in the same league as theft or fraud from my moral perspective.

(7)(23)

Anonymous

Hi Henry!

(16)(1)

Anonymous

Not Henry, a straight married woman actually. Sorry to disappoint.

(1)(7)

Anonymous

Does your husband know about your past?

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Yes. And I about his. He’s not insecure in that regard: in fact it’s rather a compliment that after more than two decades I still think he’s the most desirable man on the planet. I’m not entirely sure why you think recreational sex and drugs are far from the norm: you went to university presumably. I’d be hard pressed to find friends who hadn’t experimented somewhere along the line. Does your partner know how pompous, inexperienced and inhibited you are?

(5)(8)

Anonymous

She knows I experimented with cannabis at school but have never done class As, as I value my brain. Also which university did you go to? Perhaps I went to a more serious one, where drugs were something of a minority pursuit.

I was referring more to the chemsex rather than the drugs alone.

(3)(4)

Anonymous

I’ve never tried that, but each to their own. I wouldn’t have a moral objection to my barrister spending his free time in that way provided he still worked to the standard I paid for. Is there any suggestion he wasn’t? I gather he’d been reported for various things, but were they actually related? If not, I sincerely don’t have an issue with adults using drugs for recreation if they’re on private premises and aware of the risks. In the legal profession, I can see a drug-taking judge having a conflict of interests, but barristers are generally neutral are they not? They do their job whatever they think of their client.

Uggers

Do only hot people have sex?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Thankfully not

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The BSB’s statement, released this morning, also reveals that Hendron was fined £2,000 for “administrative failings as a head of chambers.” ?? Head of Chambers at 35? And he looks like a schoolboy in the photo. His suspension leaves 9 barristers in the Set

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Surely he won’t be able to practice criminal law anymore?

(1)(1)

Anonymous

We look after our own

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Once again in upholding ethics, public standards and confidence it can be seen
there’s – one law for the (public schooled) haves and another for the have nots!

(11)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

He’s still quite attractive.

(2)(13)

Anonymous

Each case must be judged on its own merits. HH, who I understand represented himself before the BSB, obviously was able to persuade the BSB that the particular facts of his case justified moving away from the starting point of disbarment.While He may be a maverick , I I don’t think Hendron has got away with anything. Why have a tribunal is the result is a foregone conclusion.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

“Barrister Hendron” should have been struck off for his bus stop adverts alone.

(21)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

He couldn’t have been struck off anyway. Disbarment would have been the punishment.

Here’s a quotation for you:

‘A BSB spokesperson said: “A conviction for conspiring to supply a Class A substance and subsequent prison sentence is incompatible with membership of the Bar. “‘

So, in order you get disbarred, you have to supply a class A drug AND get sent to prison?

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases-and-news/barrister-omar-mohammed-khan-disbarred-for-conspiring-to-supply-cocaine/

(3)(0)

Anonymous

This is obviously a ridiculous comparison.

This fellow’s name is Omar Khan. He is not a white public school boy from Richmond.

(24)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Barrister Hendron did get a prison sentence, he just had the good fortune to have it suspended. So as the BSB said, his conduct is incompatible with membership of the Bar.

(12)(0)

Pedont

The BSB didn’t make this decision. An independent tribunal, administered by BTAS (the Bar Tribunal & Adjudication Service) did so. The BSB acted as prosecutor.

(5)(0)

Tim

Of course he hasn’t.

The racist, sexist and disablist profession only blocks and bangs up the “right” people.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

everyone deserves a second chance, and i cant see why this chap should be viewed any differently. By all accounts he has paid a high price already for what happened. Some of the above comments seem to be wholly motivated by either (i) and resentment or jealously of the barrister profession or of Hendron himself (ii) and or some weird class war some of you have adopted. I trust most of the comments above are made from aspiring lawyers, as opposed to actual lawyers (the later usually prefer more weightly legal reading such as the Lawyer or Law Gazzette or the LExis NExis daily update, not the tittle tattle of this forum.Just saying…

(0)(6)

Anonymous

Our profession is fast losing the admiration and respect it once had. Tawdry cases such as this only hasten the decline. How desperate and bewildered the dead man’s parents must feel. All very dispiriting.

(8)(0)

Comments are closed.