James Counsell acts in disciplinary proceedings against Constance Briscoe
James Counsell acted for the Bar Standards Board in disciplinary proceedings against former Recorder and barrister, Constance Briscoe, arising out of her involvement in the Chris Huhne / Vicky Pryce speedings points investigation, which led to all three being convicted of perverting the course of justice and receiving sentences of imprisonment.
A five-person Disciplinary Tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court, at a hearing on 15 April 2016, heard that Ms Briscoe had made two statements to the police which contained deliberately false information in order to hide the fact that she had been involved in setting up meetings and agreeing a contract between newspapers and her friend Vicky Pryce and to give the impression that she was a neutral bystander when, in fact, she was a friend of Ms Pryce. When the deception came to light, she then altered one of those witness statements and then altered it again when providing it to a defence handwriting expert in order to hide her involvement in the first false alteration. The Tribunal was told by James Counsell that, despite pleading not guilty, she was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey and sentenced to a total of sixteen months imprisonment in May 2014.
Ms Briscoe did not attend the disciplinary hearing and three charges of dishonest and discreditable conduct, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and conduct likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession were found proved in her absence. The Tribunal disbarred Ms Briscoe and expelled her from the Inner Temple.
Barristers: James Counsell QC