Barrister fights Cook Report Allegations

A Birmingham barrister is fighting allegations that his advice to a client contravened the Bar's Code of Conduct, after he was featured in a Cook Report investigation.

Last Tuesday's edition of the television programme showed Balbir Singh, of Rowchester Chambers, telling a client to 'bump off” a troublesome relative, establish alibis and dispose of evidence in order to avoid getting caught.

The barrister is now being advised by top libel firm Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners.

Partner Charlotte Watson said Singh was “considering his legal position” and one possible option was to sue for libel.

The programme stands by its claims. In it a leading QC was said to have described Singh's professional advice as “shocking and apalling”.

But Watson said Singh claims to have been “set up” and denies any breach of the code of conduct. A Bar Council spokesman said the Bar was awaiting more information before investigating the matter further.

“Our policy is to wait until complaints are brought to us before we investigate them.”

The Solicitors Complaints Bureau has defended itself against the Cook Report's claims that it had ignored the dishonesty of solicitors featured in the programme.

An SCB spokeswoman said: “Each of the solicitors featured in the programme had been, or is about to be, referred for disciplinary proceedings in the independent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.”

Last Thursday the case of the Truro solicitor, William Horner, who was also investigated by the Cook team, was brought before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and he was struck off.