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Veteran family law barrister suspended for twice breaking family court injunction

Sami Ur Rahman convicted of breaching non-molestation order taken out by ex-girlfriend

A family barrister with 24 years’ experience has been suspended for three months after twice breaking a family court non-molestation order.

Sami Ur Rahman was also fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the order, which forbade him from contacting a former girlfriend. A bar disciplinary tribunal said that Rahman had “let down the profession”.

Rahman, who was called to the bar in 1996, has a mixed family, employment and common law practice at 5 Pump Court Chambers in London.

The experienced advocate was hauled before a Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service panel after a criminal conviction for breaching a non-molestation order on two occasions.

According to the tribunal’s judgment, it all started when Rahman “entered into an extra marital relationship with a woman” known as Ms X.

The affair broke down in February 2018. The next month, Ms X got a non-molestation order against Rahman. The order forbade the ex-lover from going to Ms X’s house or trying to communicate with her except through her solicitor.

Ten days after being served with the order, Rahman breached it by going to speak to Ms X. When Ms X made it clear that she had no interest in talking to him, he left, but turned up again the next day.

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The police then got involved and Rahman ultimately pleaded guilty to two breaches of a non-molestation order. In March 2019, he was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to community service and handed a restraining order.

According to the sentencing remarks, Rahman is estranged from his wife, who now lives in Ireland, while Ms X works “in part at least, as an escort”.

At the disciplinary tribunal, Rahman admitted to one charge of professional misconduct. Ruminating on the appropriate sanction, the panel noted:

“That he does a large amount of family work does seem to us something of an aggravating factor when what he has done is to breach of [sic] a Family Court injunction.”

But the panel also took into account that Rahman “has expressed his remorse which we accept as genuine and that this offence was out of character”. Rahman’s head of chambers is said to have backed him, and his estranged wife even came over from Ireland to support him. There was also private medical evidence.

The tribunal concluded that, “having regard to the mitigation put forward, a three month suspension is appropriate and there should also be a relatively modest fine of £1,000”. The suspension will not kick in until 1 May 2020 to allow Rahman to finish up a couple of pending cases.

The decision is open to appeal.

According to a LinkedIn page, Rahman is on his fifth chambers, having also spent time at 7 New Square, Field Court, Five Paper and Kenworthy’s. His profile on the 5 Pump Court website says that “Sami is particularly known for his accessibility but also his experience and reputation as an effective advocate”.

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