Barrister pleads guilty to VAT security charge

A Liverpool barrister and former head of chambers has been convicted of failing to provide VAT security.

Nadine Hope, representing herself, pleaded guilty to all 16 of the charges against her.

The charges all relate to her providing taxable supplies of service without giving a security. In cases where a person has poor VAT compliance (failing to pay when it is due and submitting returns late), Customs and Excise demands payment of a security. Hope failed to do so but illegally continued to trade.

The offences were committed between February and July of this year, when it is believed that Hope still held the reins of her chambers at 19 Castle Street in Liverpool.

Hope's conviction also amounts to a breach of the Bar's Code of Practice. The Bar's Disciplinary Committee is likely to hold an investigation that could lead to a fine, suspension or disbarment, bringing her future as a practising barrister into question.

Hope is still a tenant at the set, known as Victoria Chambers, being run by a management committee made up of several of the 12 other tenants. One member said, surprisingly, that they believed it was a private matter and would not be considering it.