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TV quiz barrister fined £2,500 for inadequate advice


James Counsell acted for the Bar Standards Board in disciplinary proceedings brought against Dr Shaun Wallace, a criminal barrister based in London, who also stars in the TV quiz show “The Chase“.

At the hearing

Dr Wallace admitted four charges relating to the advice and representation he gave to a defendant and which led to the 22-year old defendant pleading guilty to a section 18 wounding with intent charge, when he thought he was pleading guilty to the lesser offence of section 20.

James Counsell described how Dr Wallace had conducted pre-trial conferences at the defendant’s bail address in the absence of a solicitor, but took no notes of the advice which he gave.

Having told his client that he had a “good defence”, Dr Wallace changed his view on the day of trial when he told his client that his prospects were now only 30% and advised him that he should plead guilty, as he would do in the same position, when the prosecution offered to accept a plea of guilty to affray from his client’s co-defendant mother.

The defendant subsequently appealed on the ground that he was incompetently represented by Dr Wallace and the Court of Appeal allowed his appeal, substituted a conviction for section 20 and reduced the sentence to four years for that offence with two more years to run consecutively.

Please click here to read the Court of Appeal judgment.

Press release is available on Mirror, Legal Cheek and Daily Mail.

Barristers: James Counsell QC
Categories: News