City University BPTC grad who stole cash from colleagues’ bags BARRED from legal profession

Mahnoor Choudhury was working as a paralegal at the time

A City, University of London Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) graduate who stole cash from her employer and colleagues has been told she will not be able to practise as a barrister.

Mahnoor Choudhury, a conveyancing paralegal at Surrey-based outfit Howell-Jones Solicitors at the time, stole around £400 from the firm’s petty cash and the bags of her work colleagues last summer. She was dismissed from the firm on 22 June 2016.

According to the disciplinary finding published earlier this week, Choudhury — who completed her LLB at Kingston University in 2012 before going on to study the BPTC at City, University of London a year later — “failed to act with honesty and integrity.”

Commenting on the tribunal’s decision to disbar Choudhury, a spokesperson for the Bar Standards Board (BSB) said:

Acting dishonestly by stealing money is incompatible with membership of the bar.

Called to the bar in March 2014, Choudhury, who never practised as a barrister, can appeal the decision.

But this isn’t the first time that she has been hauled before a regulator. Last November, in relation to the same thefts, the Solicitors Regulation Authority banned Choudhury from the solicitors’ profession and ordered her to pay £300 in costs.

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40 Comments

Anonymous

Not to be pedantic, but destroying your own money and taking someone else’s aren’t the same.

Neither are acting dishonestly and acting like an asshat.

(7)(5)
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,

True. They’re not the same. One act may be motivated by need and the other by the desire to dominate those who are in need. But both tend to suggest the absence of character.

(15)(1)
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Anonymous

I really struggle to understand people who put themselves through a degree, the BPTC or LPC (often self-funded it seems, so a lot of money right out of your own pocket) only to throw the whole lot away by stealing, or otherwise being a complete pillock. What a complete waste.

(28)(0)
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Anonymous

on the other hand, and playing devils advocate to an extent – some people do things that are entirely consistent with their character……

I did work experience with an utterly amoral, conniving and manipulative solicitor in a deliberate way – there were no mitigating circumstances …… years later, the particular individual was struck off the roll of solicitors for multiple mortgage fraud (submitting false pay slips to get buy to let mortgages), they were subsequently jailed for mortgage fraud. No mitigation forwarded because there was none. Even the defence that was run conceded there was none and that they were “not a criminal mastermind, just stupid”.

– It came as no surprise to anyone that came across this solicitor before that they did this, because it was entirely consistent with their character and dishonest way of dealing with people on an everyday basis anyway.

(1)(0)
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Annie

I struggle to understand it too and for that reason I have concluded that it must be down to a level of desperation that most of us never experience. That, or greed or problems such as kleptomania but in this instance, rifling through bags suggests desperate need. Not excusable, but I do wonder and personally hope I don’t ever feel such because I don’t want to understand it.

(2)(0)
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Anonymous

She went to Kingston, she would never practise as a barrister anyway.

There I’ve made the comment that all the predictable idiots in the comments would make. The University snobbery is old and boring at this point.

(19)(18)
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Anonymous

Ok be as virtue signalling about it as you want, it’s a free country. It does not change the fact that this “snobbery” is usually just cold and hard truth.

I say usually, because with the whole diversity thing being so trendy, you increasingly get your odd Westminster, Kingston etc token trainees who slipped through the net.

Sorry to violate your safe space.

(16)(15)
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Anonymous

Cold hard truth? How would a sixth form/llb student like you even know about the cold hard truth?

Stop talking out your ass kid, get back to studying for Tort Law

(9)(8)
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Anonymous

Not quite, but you’ve almost nailed it there. I am crying at my desk in Moorgate worried whether I get kept on NQ in September. £124k is at stake. Not a fun place to be, trust me.

(11)(5)
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Anonymous

You got me there. I am actually confident I get kept as the firm trains to retain. Anyway, lunch done I better get back to work but thanks for being so triggered and entertaining, whoever you are.

(9)(6)
Anonymous

Judge Rinder has an interesting Q&A article in the Guardian’s education section at the moment, so to quote a portion of what he says about becoming a barrister:

“If you are committed and passionate about wanting to be a barrister, you should do it. But you can’t be half-arsed about it. You need to be realistic, which means if you don’t have a first-class degree from a good-rated university, it’s going to be challenging”

Sums it up pretty well.

(0)(0)
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Anonymous

You conviently left out what he said after that. Allow me: “You’d need to counterbalance your application with a huge amount of experience, so doing as much advocacy as you can, charity work, speaking up for people, and doing related work experience is hugely important.”

Typical LC commenters, cherry picking to fit their opinions.

(1)(0)
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Anonymous

i have a crush on this girl but she doesn’t like me. what can i do? i’ve already started taking tren and doing 50 push ups every day but all this has done is made my little soldier go back in his pouch. pls advise.

(8)(3)
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Anonymous

Acting dishonestly by stealing money is incompatible with membership of the bar.

But supplying drugs to your teenage boyfriend, who subsequently cops it, isn’t (please excuse the implied double negative).

(12)(0)
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Annie

Oh dear. Harsh much?
I have learnt that the difference between the best and worst advocate is experience and practise, practise, practise – in front of the mirror or buckler loads of moot or FRU work. Some never get the chance to figure this out. It’s not really about brains or the lack thereof.

(0)(0)
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Annie

Oh dear. Harsh much?
I have learnt that the difference between the best and worst advocate is experience and practise, practise, practise – in front of the mirror or buckler loads of moot or FRU work. Some never get the chance to figure this out. It’s not really about brains or the lack thereof.

(0)(2)
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Anonymous

Got what she deserved. I’ve fallen on very hard times many times in my life with young kids and all. Never stolen a penny. Got sick with worry, did crap jobs ,lost sleep ,got ill but never stole a penny

(5)(0)
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