Generally speaking, it takes quite a few years of studying and hard graft before someone gets to wear the wig and robes of a barrister in the British legal system. Unless, that is, you buy them on eBay. Surprisingly, that's precisely what one man did and ended up defending a number of clients at court before getting found out and exposed.

Ian Clegg, 32, charged a very reasonable £75 an hour for his services. Well, it would have been reasonable had he been qualified. In fact, he dropped out of a law degree course after a single year at university.

That did not stop him from making appearances at a number of court hearings where his style was said to be very aggressive. He managed to convince three people to take him on to defend them in civil cases, as well as two people in criminal court on motoring offences. It wasn't until officials at the magistrates' court in Guisborough, North Yorkshire became a little suspicious that a barrister was unaware of proper court procedure that investigations were made and the truth revealed.

Having been arrested, Clegg eventually pleaded guilty to charges of impersonating a barrister and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Still, it makes a change for a story about the law and eBay not to involve threats of negative feedback libel or selling fake designer products.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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