Henry Hendron has vowed to appeal a three month suspension for failing to pay back a complainant her money, although the barrister has already fallen out in dramatic fashion with a second client.
Hendron had barely returned from a three year suspension for supplying drugs to his 18-year-old boyfriend at a fatal chemsex orgy in Temple when he was charged by the Bar Standards Board for a new violation.
Yvonne Hobbs complained that, due to his personal difficulties in 2015, Hendron was unable to represent her. Hendron was obliged to refund her £650, but his cheque bounced. The Legal Ombudsman told him to repay the amount plus £200 compensation, but he missed its deadline by ten months, then sent another cheque which also bounced. Hendron claimed that by her "wilful conduct" in cashing his final cheque three months after he sent it, Hobbs had waived her right to payment.
Hendron will appeal the BSB's decision, he told RollOnFriday. "I am therefore still a practising barrister and will remain so until the High Court has determined my appeal", he said.
Owning it: amazingly, Hendron's website appears to feature a paparazzi shot of the barrister attending his own trial at the Old Bailey.
However, another client has approached RollOnFriday with a similar complaint. Soon after Hendron's return to practice, 'Ron', who asked not to be identified, instructed Hendron in relation to defending injunction proceedings brought by Lewisham council.
Ron said he became concerned about Hendron after the barrister sent him multiple emails asking him for details about his case in the early hours of the morning of the injunction hearing. After googling Hendron, Ron demanded a refund of the £9,999 fee he paid upfront, and when it wasn’t forthcoming, he reported Hendron to various regulators.
For his part, Hendron reported Ron to the police. “[Ron] made repeated calls to both my private office (my PA) and my clerks where he was aggressive, abusive and threatening, and repeatedly called my staff and clerks 'fucking cunts'”, Hendron told RollOnFriday.
“To abuse or attack a lawyers staff, clerks, or colleagues is akin to an attack on the administration of justice, and I for one will not tolerate it”, said the barrister. He also accused Ron of having "unlawfully attempted to extort money from me in what was nothing other than a cheap and pathetic attempt at blackmail".
On Tuesday, three days after his latest suspension, Hendron agreed to refund Ron and sent £9,999 to a firm which had been acting for his angry ex-client. Although, in a bizarre inversion of his issue paying Hobbs, the firm told Hendron that it had to return the money to him because Ron had just de-instructed it. Hendron is refusing to take it back, fearing another Hobbs situation with the BSB. "I will not bank any cheque that you might send", he wrote to the firm, "as I consider that the problem is now yours not mine".
It's been an eventful few weeks for Hendron. In July a judge recused himself from a trial involving the barrister after the opposing solicitor sent his clerk a link to a RollOnFriday story about the lawyer's travails.