An experienced barrister has been slapped with a £1,000 fine for acting in a “rude and unprofessional manner” towards a judge — at one point even “pulling faces”.

Marguerite Russell was instructed as counsel for the defence during a three-month trial in 2016 when she is said to have interrupted her opponent’s submissions and failed to sit down when asked to do so by the judge.

A Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS) panel also found that Russell had shouted at the judge and/or talked over counsel, and said “this is ridiculous” following a ruling by the judge in response to the submission she had made.
During the same trial, Russell again interrupted and/or argued with the judge when she refused to accede to a submission she had made, and described the decision as “insane”.

Russell, who was called to bar 1972, also pulled faces at the judge and acted in manner that led to her being told to sit down by the judge.

The tribunal found that she had engaged in conduct which was likely to diminish the trust and confidence which the public places in a barrister or in the profession. Russell was reprimanded and fined £1,000.

The decision is open to appeal.

Legal Cheek

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