A barrister has been fined £2,000 after talking to an opposing lay client at home without their lawyer present.
Mariam Adel El-Sobky, called to the bar in 2001, was found to have committed serious misconduct when acting in family proceedings in 2019. In the run-up to a hearing, El-Sobky – who was representing the respondent – attended her client’s home, where the applicant also lived. The barrister then spoke to the applicant about the ongoing proceedings in the absence of their legal representative.
As a result of the conversation, the hearing was adjourned and El-Sobky made subject to a wasted costs order.
According to the disciplinary judgment, El-Sobky did not observe her duty to the court in the administration of justice, and/or failed in her duty to the court to act with independence, by not taking reasonable steps to avoid wasting the court’s time.
The tribunal also found that she had behaved in a way which was likely to diminish public trust and confidence.
El-Sobky was ordered to pay a £2,000 fine and was reprimanded in relation to her future conduct. She was also ordered to pay £1,560 in costs to the BSB.