Suspension for prosecuting barrister who pursued ‘romantic interest’ in defendant 

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By Rhys Duncan on


Misused personal contact info

An experienced barrister has been suspended from practice for 26 months after he was found to have pursued a “romantic interest” in a defendant he was prosecuting.

An independent tribunal found that Drew St’Clair, called to the bar in 2001, acted in a way which was “likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in him or in the profession”.

In November 2021, St’Clair used personal contact information that he was given access to whilst prosecuting a criminal case for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), according to a statement by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) covering the decision. This was done, it said, to “pursue his romantic interest in the defendant in those proceedings”.

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St’Clair was aware that this defendant was “likely to be vulnerable as a victim of domestic abuse,” the regulator added.

Commenting on the order, a BSB spokesperson said:

“The tribunal found that Mr St’Clair violated a clear professional boundary and abused his position of power in relation to a vulnerable individual. This type of conduct is manifestly incompatible with the high standards expected of the bar by those experiencing the justice system and the wider public and the tribunal’s order to suspend Mr St’Clair reflects the seriousness of such behaviour”.

The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.



Absolutely, utterly digusting.


I disagree. Plenty of romances start at work. Can you not email someone at work, or talk to them because you only have contact with them at work. If she was the love of his life, how else would he find out if she felt the same. I’ve been asked out by people I’ve cross examine, people I’ve represented, opponents and others, nothing wrong with it at all.


absolutely insane

Barrister 2

Only a suspension? If this was to a junior-level barrister, they would have been disbarred and sent to the nearest gulag by the BSB


If this was a solicitor at a partner level, they’d get a small fine and slap on a wrist. If this was a solicitor at a junior or NQ level, they’d get a fine reaching the high heavens, a public shaming and licence revoked with no chance of appeal. Good to know our regulators are staying consistent!


‘Drew St’Clair’, eh? Splendid name for a barrister.

I think I might apply to chambers using the name ‘the Hon Hugo de Silverspoon-Cavendish-Delacroix’. Shoo-in for tenancy I reckon.

Or a dead cert for a place at Farrers, should I choose the roll instead.

Between the lines

Qwite interesting.

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