Dressing down for tweed-clad solicitor

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A FORMER stipendiary magistrate and barrister now working as a solicitor was given a dressing down in court yesterday for wearing a tweed sports jacket.

Ashraf Ali Bashiri - who was seeking for legal aid for a client at Horseferry Road court in central London - was asked by the magistrate Geoffrey Breen: 'Do you think it is appropriate to wear a sports jacket when you are before a magistrate? I am afraid I don't.

'If you want to make a legal-aid application, you can do it in writing - then I won't have to look at you.'

Mr Bashiri, 65, who once sat at Horseferry Road, said afterwards: 'I can't believe it . . . This is proper English dress.'

Opening the beige coloured jacket to show a Dunn and Company label, he added: 'It's the best. I consider I am properly dressed.

'I have been dressed like this at the Appeal Court, sitting behind counsel and QCs and nobody has complained. When I was a barrister, I used to wear black three-piece suits in court, but I am a solicitor now and there is no need for solicitors to wear three- piece suits in court. I consider myself extremely smart. I am not shabbily dressed.'

'I think what he (the magistrate) said was something out of order, incredible. I did nothing wrong and I shall carry on dressing as I wish.'

Mr Bashiri practises with Nurdin Partners, of Balham, south London.