Unprofessionals in Law

March 19, 2014

Fake barrister struck off after ‘super-size’ fraud

Photo: McDonalds

A McDonald’s-loving ‘employment lawyer’ from Portsmouth has been exposed as a fraud by the Bar Standards Board.

Yvonne Turley was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2000, but claimed to be a fully-qualified employment law barrister without completing the final stages of training. She was then listed as an employment specialist by the unsuspecting East Hampshire Citizens Advice Bureau and proceeded to dupe a string of clients.

Susan Simms, an NHS employee, sought advice from Turley after disagreements with her managers. Simms made several attempts to reach Turley by phone, and eventually met with a nonchalant response. ‘I asked if she was a barrister, and she said ‘That’s right’.

The pair agreed to meet, but Turley ended up driving her client from her offices at a Big Yellow Storage unit to the golden arches of a nearby McDonalds. A disgruntled Simms stated that Turley didn’t even fork out for fries: “We went in and she didn’t buy anything.”

Turley’s lackadaisical attitude surfaced again at a tribunal for Jacquie Hawkins, a client claiming disability discrimination in the workplace. Hawkins was disconcerted when Turley turned up with no paperwork and ‘could not string a sentence together’.

Her farcical performance then resulted in Hawkins paying £5,000 to her employer – a nasty surprise when Turley had told her to expect a sum of £20,000 for her case.

After further clients complained that Turley had failed to submit tribunal applications on time and rarely answered the phone, the Bar Standards Board took action, striking her off as a barrister for ‘unacceptable deception and dishonesty’ after an investigation into her sketchy background.

At last, she’s had her fries. AW

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