A dual-qualified solicitor and barrister have been disbarred, nearly ten years after he was struck off the roll for the same conveyancing offence.
Godwin Okri, an unregistered barrister, was ordered to be disbarred by the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service (BTAS) yesterday. The offence relates to Okri’s time as a solicitor.
In 2004 while working on a conveyancing transaction, Okri acted for both seller and buyer where a conflict of interest existed without the written consent of both parties. He was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2009.
In its judgment, the SDT found south London-based Okri had given contradictory evidence and his explanations had not been credible.
His disbarment follows charges subsequently brought by the barristers’ regulator the Bar Standards Board (BSB). The regulator became aware only of Okri's strike off when he tried, unsuccessfully, to have himself reinstated to the roll of solicitors.
According to the BTAS, Okri breached money laundering regulations, ignored a previous warning by the Solicitors Regulation Authority on property fraud, and 'dishonestly assisted a third party in securing a property for substantially less than its market value’.
He was also found to have failed to cooperate with the BSB as he failed to notify it when he was struck off.
A BSB spokesperson said: ‘This finding serves as a reminder to barristers that their professional conduct when practising as solicitors, or indeed as any other legal professionals, will be taken into account when considering their membership of the bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Okri reflects the seriousness of his actions when acting as a solicitor.’