Barrister who ignored suspension disbarred

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By Rhys Duncan on


Originally suspended over ‘hostile’ emails to solicitors

A barrister who continued to act for clients while suspended has been disbarred.

Peter Wareing, who was called to the bar of England and Wales by Inner Temple in October 2004, was suspended from practice between July 2021 and January 2022 after a series of incidents back in 2015.

At the time, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) said this included sending “hostile” emails to the opposing party’s solicitors in a public access case, making a “false statement” in an email to the solicitors regarding disclosure, and also making a “false statement” to an employment judge during a case management hearing.

Alongside his six month suspension, the barrister was also reprimanded and hit with a £2,000 costs bill.

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Now, however, after continuing to receive instructions during his suspension, he has been disbarred. Whilst suspended, the disciplinary tribunal said, Wareing is said to have acted for clients and held himself out as a practicing barrister by using his chambers email, failing to disclose his suspension, and acting where there were no solicitors on record.

A BSB spokesperson said:

“The public should be able to expect barristers to behave with integrity and comply with orders made by a Disciplinary Tribunal. Deliberately and repeatedly failing to comply with a suspension from practice carries real risks of both harm to public confidence in the profession and its regulation. There are also risks to Mr Wareing’s actual and potential clients. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Wareing demonstrates the seriousness of such misconduct as well as the repeated nature of his failures to comply with his regulatory obligations”.

The decision is open to appeal.



I had an interesting conversation at the last BSB roundtable about how big a proportion of their budget went on regulating non registered barristers. It wasn’t as much as I had thought; but it was still a significant sum.

I can see why there is a need to regulate anyone who used the ‘barrister’ title. I’m not sure the lay public always get what ‘unregistered’ means. So the actions of even non registered barristers impacts on the reputation of the profession as a whole.

The irony is, even non lawyers can do a lot of the work without crossing the line into reserved activities or litigating so long as they just draft the documents but get the lay client to sign, file and serve them.

It is all a bit of a mess at the moment though. For example, if I take on a client through Direct Public Access, and agree to have conduct of the entire case, including the litigation elements, the client is still classed as a litigant in person.

So technically you don’t go on record. It’s then hit or miss whether a particular court office will send you the notices or even discuss matters on the phone.

The KBD just ignores that though and gets you to file a notice of acting even if it is Direct Access and communicates directly with us. That certainly assists, but it would be nice if there was some consistency here.

goodThur Nothing

“It is all a bit of a mess at the moment though. For example, if I take on a client through Direct Public Access, and agree to have conduct of the entire case, including the litigation elements, the client is still classed as a litigant in person.”

Almost all of the time the Litigant-in-Person (only) will be sent the orders and other output from officialdom in keeping with the Litigant-in-Person status.

Ironically, when the DA Barrister is responsible for prep etc, it works completely against both Litigant-in-Person and DA barrister (lip doesn’t know anything but has first access to the usually time-critical paperwork) and this is clearly opposes the intent of the DA setup originally.

Only removal of the distinction between barrister and solicitor is the only way that a DA barrister has a fair chance of representing his “(not a) Litigant-in-Person” properly.

Loose head

When the Bar Council at last did the sensible thing and suggest restricting the term “barrister” to those who have completed pupillage, i.e. barristers, the woke powers that be now want to take away the 2:2 entry requirement because it is a barrier to entry. A barrier to entry to those not smart enough to get a 2:2 is a good thing. The move from a 2:1 requirement was bad enough.

2000s call practising barrister

Given how much work is available now, you would be mad to consider Direct Access.

The few MoC who take direct access work are always moaning about it and how they are planning to stop doing it.

Might have seemed attractive in the days when there were too few cases for too many counsel and diaries were empty.

No longer.


You do have to be careful as to who you accept as DA. Luckily Cab Rank doesn’t apply.

We were advised on the course to make the application process artificially difficult. Like a form on the website that’s a bit tricky to understand. That helps filter out people who would be better off with a solicitor in the mix. And of course we can review that at any time.

DA is handy for some clients. I have a lot of regular defamation clients for example. They’re professionals and they know the drill and exactly what I need (and don’t need) from them. But I do generally prefer a solicitor on board. Just to take care of stuff like admin, keeping tabs on correspondence, key dates etc. Of course, then you miss the thrill of a lay client ringing up and saying “Oh btw, this letter says we have a hearing tomorrow.”

Similarly with the litigation extension. I try not to get too involved in that area, but it can be handy in emergencies.

The clerks hate DA though. They’ve made it very clear me that as soon as someone mentions DA they just go “Here’s his mobile number” and that’s the extent of their involvement.

(According to a BSB survey, on the initial contact, a clerk will spend on average 10 mins talking-to a solicitor but around 45 mins talking to a potential DA client, so I do get their point)

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