R (on the application of Lonsdale) v Bar Standards Board (2014) QBD (Admin) Unreported

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The Court determined that a disciplinary tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court could order an unsuccessful defendant to pay for the costs associated with the administration of the tribunal. This included the cost of attendance for the tribunal clerk, shorthand writer and the fees and expenses of the lay members.

Facts

A disciplinary tribunal of the Council of the Inns of Court ["the Council"] ordered an unsuccessful defendant [L], against who the tribunal found proved five charges of professional misconduct contrary to the Bar Code of Conduct and the Public Access Rules, to pay the Bar Standards Board ["BSB"] £4,379. This amount included the fees and expenses associated with the attendance of the tribunal clerk, shorthand writer and the lay members, all of which, had either been met by the BSB or reimbursed by the BSB.

L obtained permission to apply for judicial review of the decision based on the ground that the Costs Order was beyond the legal scope of the Disciplinary Tribunal Regulations (2009). L further submitted that an Order for costs should not include the administrative costs of the tribunal which, were met by the Council and not the BBS.

Judgment

The Judgment was handed down by Patterson J.

It was held that the word "costs" in Regulation 31 of the Disciplinary Tribunal Regulations (2009) included all costs and expenses that the BSB was required to pay. It could therefore include the administrative costs associated with the running of a tribunal.

The Court decided that it was fair for the administrative costs to be met by a defendant who had used the service as the regulatory system in itself was operated for public interest.

(NB: Details of this case are limited at present)