Former registrar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanessa Tamara Gibson-Marks, was ordered to be disbarred from the Bar of England and Wales by an independent disciplinary tribunal at a hearing on Jan. 16, 2017.
The order follows charges brought by the Bar Standards Board (BSB).
The tribunal’s decision comes after Gibson-Marks’s conviction for theft in October 2014 in SVG, where she also held the public office of Registrar of the High Court.
Gibson-Marks was on Oct. 14, 2014 fined EC$10,500 in connection with the theft of EC$21,925 and abuse of authority charges to which she pleaded guilty one week earlier.
Gibson-Marks last week pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of EC$21,925 and that she committed an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another person, when she requested that a bank account for the benefit of another be closed.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, took over and discontinued the third charge — that “on May 7th, 2014 in Kingstown St. Vincent and the Grenadines being a person employed in the public service who being authorized to give a certificate touching any matter by virtue whereof the rights of any person may be prejudicially affected did give a certificate which was to your knowledge false in a material particular to wit an order claim 96/1980”.
BSB Director of Professional Conduct Sara Jagger said a conviction for theft and acting prejudicially to the rights of another person “is incompatible with membership of the Bar.
“The standards of professional conduct for barristers called to the Bar of England and Wales apply no matter where you are in the world. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mrs Gibson-Marks reflects the gravity of her actions,” Jagger said.
Gibson-Marks was also fined 500 British pounds for not informing the BSB of her criminal convictions, as she was required to do under BSB rules.
She has never held a practising certificate in England and Wales.
Gibson-Marks was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in July 2000. She became a member of the St. Lucia Bar and the St. Vincent Bar in 2002.
The relevant jurisdictions have been informed of the Tribunal’s decision.
Gibson-Marks was also disbarred in the Eastern Caribbean.
In the United Kingdom, the appointment, operation, and decisions (including sentencing) of disciplinary tribunal panels are performed by the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service (BTAS).
BTAS is run independently of the Bar Standards Board, the barristers’ regulator, which is responsible for bringing charges of professional misconduct against barristers. These charges are then adjudicated on by BTAS’ tribunal panels.