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Barrister who broke hotel receptionist’s jaw with hockey stick avoids disbarment

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Felix Joel Evans is about to become a solicitor despite GBH conviction

A barrister convicted of grievous bodily harm for breaking a hotel receptionist’s jaw with a hockey stick has retrained as a solicitor.

Felix Joel Evans was handed a two-year suspended sentence in February 2018 for what the judge called an “unforgivable” attack on a “hapless hotel receptionist”.

Although suspended by a bar disciplinary tribunal earlier this week, Evans had already switched professions and has “qualified as a solicitor”.

Legal Cheek reported the fact of Evans’s suspension this week but more details have now come to light in a Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service report on the case.

According to the report, the incident that led to Evans’s conviction occurred in February 2017. The non-practising barrister had been drinking heavily with a friend after playing hockey and ended up “very, very drunk”.

The disciplinary tribunal found that Evans had “hit the hotel receptionist with a hockey stick three times, once in the face breaking his jaw and twice on his back”. He reportedly told police “I’m very guilty for what I did”.

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But the tribunal decided not to disbar Evans in light of the efforts he has since made to turn his life around. An “alcoholic” at the time, the 29-year-old has since been to counselling and Alcoholics Anonymous, and now has a wife and child.

Evans also “works for a firm of solicitors, has qualified as a solicitor, and is due to be admitted to the roll in March 2021”. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and his firm are aware of his conviction.

Justifying its decision to suspend Evans from the bar for three years rather than disbar him, the tribunal said “we do consider all that he has done since the incident to repair his life to amount to exceptional circumstances”.

Earlier this year, a barrister convicted of assault for headbutting a female colleague was suspended from practice for three months.

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18 Comments

Wtf

Leaving a suitcase on a train and panicking = struck off.

Smashing a hotel receptionist in the face with a hockey stick = welcomed into the profession.

Makes total sense.

(183)(1)

Big wig law

The amount of sympathy the Bar Tribunal and SRA show for alcoholism, violence and sexism, and lack of understanding for juniors with mental health problems, is disgusting.

(41)(5)

Anon

Yes, they have a lot of sympathy for sexist accusations, especially false ones.

(4)(5)

Anon

Yes, there is sympathy for sexist accusations.

(3)(1)

solicitor who solicits

A “criminal” lawyer apparently looking at the profile

(0)(1)

A Knowall

It’s okay as he does or had alcohol ‘problems’.

(0)(0)

A non-knee mousse

Fuck the SRA

(6)(0)

RelievedStudent

And to think I was worried about passing a suitability of character test

(57)(0)

RelievedStudent

And to think I was worried about passing a character suitability test

(7)(0)

Archibald Pomp O'City

Already forgotten about the first time you posted this comment? Good luck my friend.

(4)(21)

Anon

Classic BSB

(1)(2)

Archibald Pomp O'City

Beyond belief that this fella is allowed in a white-collar workplace again, let alone able to practise.

(8)(1)

David

BSB/SRA: ‘But but but ….. he wasn’t dishonest, just broke a man’s jaw’

(10)(1)

Anonymous

The posters on here are so hostile, when the matter is one of mental health. He clearly had mental health issues, he has addressed them. It is hard to see why a conditional punishment was not more appropriate.

(2)(11)

Archibald Pomp O'City

He committed an act of extreme and nasty violence against an innocent. What is missing here is cogent evidence that he was genuinely remorseful, that he has attempted restorative actions with his victim, and that he was truly ill in the way you describe. All such evidence may exist, but without it, I don’t see how you can draw the conclusion you do.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

All matters for the criminal justice system. But if the Bar Council and Law Society and their respective regulators meant the guff they spewed out at the start of Mental Health Month, this sort of case would be handled very very differently.

(2)(0)

A non-knee mousse

Implying that all struck off solicitors have not suffered with mental health issues…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

No, straw man, the SRA are even worse than the BSB at hammering those will mental illness issues out of the profession.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.