Highflying City barrister disbarred over falsified CV

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A highflying City barrister, who falsified his CV and claimed to have degrees from Oxford and Havard universities, has been disbarred after fresh evidence emerged that he had lied about his qualifications in High Court litigation.

Dennis O’Riordan, who worked as in-house counsel for City institutions and law firms, made false claims on his CV that he had a first-class degree and PhD after attending Balliol College, Oxford and a Master’s degree in law from Harvard University.

In reality he had a 2.1 degree in law from the University of East Anglia and while he had undertaken postgraduate work at Oxford university, he had never completed his studies there.

Mr O’Riordan appeared before the disciplinary tribunal of the Inns of Court last September and admitted three charges of professional misconduct for which he was suspended from working as a barrister for three years.

However, after the hearing, the Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers, received fresh evidence of his bogus claims and has now successfully appealed to a special panel – the Visitors to the Inns of Court – to have Mr O’Riordan permanently banned from practising.

In his ruling on Thursday, Mr Justice Griffith Williams agreed that the fresh evidence undermined Mr O’Riordan’s original mitigation as he had “actively advanced the false qualifications and sought to rely upon them”.

The expert report “seriously aggravated his offending” and it “amply justifies an order of disbarment”, the judge found.

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