Recorder removed for “bringing judiciary into disrepute”

A recorder and criminal silk has been removed from judicial office for practising without a certificate.

Peter Joyce QC, a member of Nottingham set 1 High Pavement, was found guilty of professional misconduct by a Inns of Court disciplinary tribunal.

He failed to inform the Lord Chief Justice that he had practised as a barrister for six months in 2011 without a practising certificate. The Office for Judicial Complaints has now removed him from the roll of recorder on the Midlands circuit.

Joyce told The Lawyer it was an “oversight” while he was busy “fighting” for his chambers over proposals affecting the independent bar.

He said: “This was entirely my own fault. I neglected my own affairs whilst trying to run other things as head of chambers. As a result, I resigned as head of chambers immediately as a matter of principle. I have no complaints about the decision to remove me as a recorder.”

Joyce was fined £500 by the three-person panel. Costs of the hearing were £83.75 and his legal costs were not disclosed. Joyce instructed 3RB’s Trevor Burke QC.

A statement from the OCJ said the Lord Chancellor and Master of the Rolls concluded the criminal barrister’s actions had “brought the judiciary into disrepute”.

Joyce practised without a certificate being issued by the Bar Council between 1 January and 30 June 2011. It is a criminal offence to do so under the Legal Services Act 2007. He now has a certificate to practise up until 30 April 2013.

Joyce was called to the bar in 1968, made silk in 1991 and an Inner Temple bencher in 2000. He was the head of 1 High Pavement chambers between 2004 and 2011 and made leader of the Midland circuit between 2005 and 2008.