(Barstandardsboard) St Vincent and the Grenadines-based unregistered barrister Vanessa Gibson-Marks was ordered to be disbarred from the Bar of England and Wales by an independent disciplinary tribunal at a hearing held on Monday, 16 January 2017. The order follows charges brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
The tribunal’s decision comes after Mrs Gibson-Marks’s conviction for theft in October 2014 by the High Court in St Vincent and the Grenadines, where she also held the Public Office of Registrar of the High Court. Mrs Gibson-Marks was convicted of the theft of $21,925 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (c. £6,700). She was also convicted of an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another person, when she requested that a bank account for the benefit of another be closed. This occurred while she was appointed as a trustee of the account when employed as the Registrar of the High Court.
BSB Director of Professional Conduct Sara Jagger said: “A conviction for theft and acting prejudicially to the rights of another person is incompatible with membership of the Bar. The standards of professional conduct for barristers called to the Bar of England and Wales apply no matter where you are in the world. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mrs Gibson-Marks reflects the gravity of her actions.”
Mrs Gibson-Marks was also fined £500 for not informing the BSB of her criminal convictions, as she was required to do under BSB rules.
Mrs Gibson-Marks has never held a practising certificate in England and Wales.