LEGAL MAFIA 4

LAW SOCIETY AND LAWYERS TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE INTERNET
We have warned for a very long time how lawyers and their law societies are trying to take control of the internet as they have done with the complete control of the mass media via media lawyers. The only reason they have been getting away with MURDER is how they have been able to hide their criminality through a compliant and complicit media.

Society sends letter of claim to Solicitors from Hell owner

The Law Society sent a letter of claim to the owner of the Solicitors from Hell website last week, as it prepared to launch a class action against him on behalf of the profession. The letter demands that website owner Rick Kordowski must close the site, or face an action for defamation, harassment and breach of the Data Protection Act. More than 300 individual solicitors, law firms and others have joined the action against Kordowski, having been affected by the site. The action is also being brought on behalf of the profession as a whole. The letter of claim, sent by the Society’s solicitors Brett Wilson, points out that Kordowski has been sued for libel on at least 16 occasions in relation to the website. It notes that more than £150,000 has been awarded against him in damages, which remains unpaid. Brett Murphy said its analysis of the 990 postings on the site between 15 April and 10 August 2011 indicated that the site serves ‘no legitimate purpose’.

It said the site was a ‘magnet for the vexatious and bitter whose complaints would not stand up to scrutiny in any impartial tribunal or forum’. In many cases the author is a disgruntled opponent, the firm said. The Society’s letter of claim sets out a schedule of undertakings on which it seeks agreement from Kordowski. These include an undertaking to remove the entire site from the web and not to publish any of the content in future, or set up any other website with a similar name. A Law Society spokeswoman said: ‘Not all solicitors defamed on the website can afford the time and trouble to bring a case themselves, and the Law Society is taking every possible step to protect our members and the public interest.’

Kordowski said he denied all the allegations made against him. He pointed to the high levels of complaints against solicitors received by the Legal Ombudsman, and said the Society had rejected his offer to work together to expose wrongdoing in the profession. In a separate development last week, Kordowski lost two applications to appeal earlier judgments against him won by Megan Phillips, solicitor at London firm Bhatt Murphy, and Juliet Farrall, solicitor at London firm McCormacks.

In Farrall’s case, Sir Richard Buxton held that Kordowski’s ‘argument that he offered the claimant the alternatives of excusing herself to him or paying a substantial amount of money, in each case to secure the removal of the posting, casts a dire light on the way in which he conducts his business’. He added: ‘The need to control the applicant’s activities’ had made ‘considerable demands on the court’s time'.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • LAW SOCIETY TAKES ON 'SOLICITORS FROM HELL' WEBSITE
    THE LAW SOCIETIES CONTROL THE COMPLICIT MEDIA OUTPUT AND ARE NOW TRYING TO CONTROL THE INTERNET. THEY CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MASS FLEECING BY CROOKED LAWYERS CONDONED BY THOSE WHO ARE CHARGED WITH REGULATING THESE EVIL BASTARDS.

    A website which claims to name and shame under-performing lawyers is facing legal action from the Law Society for alleged defamation.

    The site, Solicitors from Hell, was set up by Rick Kordowski after a dispute with a solicitor ended badly. It invites users to post detailed testimonials about poor service, directly naming the lawyers involved. But the Law Society says there is no system for substantiating the negative comments on the site. Defamation claims have already been brought against Mr Kordowski, a graphics designer, by individual law firms. The latest was in the High Court last week. But now the Law Society is planning to pursue two cases against Mr Kordowski, one on behalf of solicitors already on the site, and another on behalf of the profession.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme, Law Society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson described the site as "littered with untruths and abusive comments", and accused it of not giving lawyers a right of reply. But John Flood, professor of Law and Sociology from Westminster University, defended the Solicitors from Hell website, saying it filled a gap in the market. "I don't think the site would be there if there wasn't a considerable amount of dissatisfaction with the way legal services were being delivered in this country," he said.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • LAWYERS BEHIND THE NEWS OF THE WORLD HACKING SCANDAL
    tom crone AS WE HAVE BEEN EXPOSING FOR A VERY LONG TIME . WERE YOU GET CORRUPTION, FRAUD AND DEVIOUS CHICANERY OF THE LAW YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND A SCUMBAG LAWYER (MASON OR SPEC) IN THERE MAKING MATTERS MUCH WORSE AND THE LAW SOCIETY'S OF THE UK ARE MAYBE THE MOST CORRUPT ON THE PLANET. MEDIA LAWYERS ARE BEHIND EVERYTHING MURDOCH DID AS HIS LEGAL HENCHMAN TOM CRONE RESIGNING LAST WEEK PROVED.

    BUT WILL THE POWERS THAT BE (MASONS AGAIN) ARREST A CROOKED LAWYER AS THEY HAVE DONE FOR CROOKED JOURNALISTS AND PRIVATE DICKS? HACKING MAY NOT BE THE ONLY THING THEY ARE IMPLICATED IN WITH AT LEAST TWO DEATHS, SEAN HOARE AND DANIEL MORGAN, BOTH WHISTLEBLOWERS AGAINST THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL SPY NETWORK . WE OURSELVES KNOW OF CASES WERE DEATHS HAVE OCCURED WHILE THE VICTIMS WERE EMBROILED IN LEGAL BATTLES WE HAVE ALSO BEEN VICTIMS OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE USED BY THE LEGAL MAFIA OPERATING A PERSECUTION CAMPAIGN AGAINST ANYONE THEY HAVE LINED UP TO FLEECE AND WORST IF THEY DARED TO STAND UP AGAINST THEIR EVIL AGENDA. MURDOCH'S HENCHMEN , PARTICULARLY LAWYERS, MAY BE FAR MORE IMPLICATED THAN EVEN THE SPIES THEY USED TO GATHER ANY KIND OF DIRT ON THOSE THEY TARGET.


    Split loyalties at solicitors Olswang?

    Media lawyer Dan Tench's decision to advise Rupert and James Murdoch means he is potentially at odds with another partner at the firm, Geraldine Proudler, longstanding legal adviser to the Murdochs' arch-enemies, The Guardian. She is also a trustee of the Scott Trust, the owner of The Guardian. The Murdochs also relied on two other legal brains, top QC Lord Grabiner and News Corp US executive Joel Klein, who sat alongside Tench in the row behind the Murdochs in the committee.

    Meanwhile, ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks' lawyer, Stephen Parkinson of Kingsley Napley, also has links with some of the players in the hacking scandal. Parkinson represented several clients in the cash-for-honours investigation (which was led by now departing Met assistant commissioner John Yates) and also acted for Tony Blair in the Hutton Inquiry.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • LAWYER TOM CRONE BEHIND THE MURDOCH HACKING SCANDAL
  • Lawyer Tom Crone behind NOTW hacking scandal resigns
  • WHY DID ROYAL MAFIA'S LAWYERS HIDE HACKING EVIDENCE
  • LAWYERS HELPED MURDOCH TARGET FORMER PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN (VIDEO)
  • WHY DID ROYAL MAFIA'S LAWYERS HIDE HACKING EVIDENCE?
    prince william As we have reported many many times lawyers in conjunction with a twisted crown are behind much of the vile masonic spy network that aids and abets the richest despots on the planet.

    Why did Prince William's lawyers hide hacking evidence? Firm that advises Royals entangled in row over 'cover up' The phone hacking scandal – which has already rocked the Murdoch empire, Downing Street and the police – last night threatened to drag in the Royal Family, after serious questions were asked about the conduct of their lawyers.

    Harbottle & Lewis, a leading firm of London solicitors who act for Royals, including Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are embroiled in damaging accusations of a 'cover-up' and 'conflict of interest'. The firm was hired to defend News International against claims of widespread hacking of the Royals – at the same time as its lawyers were working for Buckingham Palace.

    Murdoch executives at the News of the World called in the firm following the jailing of Clive Goodman in January 2007 for intercepting mobile phone messages left for members of the Royal Family. Mr Goodman, the paper's Royal editor, launched a claim for unfair dismissal against his former employers – on the grounds that the practice was widespread at the newspaper. News International's decision to hire Harbottle & Lewis to defend his claim has raised eyebrows because the firm had also advised the Palace on Scotland Yard's investigation into Mr Goodman.

    During its work for the company, Harbottle & Lewis took possession of hundreds of internal emails – which have now become the focus of the hacking firestorm. Harbottle & Lewis's actions have come under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that it wrote a letter to News International in 2007 in which it stated – incorrectly, it now appears – that the emails did not reveal any evidence of criminality. The letter was used by newspaper executives in their defence during a Parliamentary investigation into phone hacking in 2009. A senior legal source, who has seen the emails, told The Mail on Sunday it was 'manifestly untrue' that the emails did not reveal evidence of criminality.

    'It is clear beyond doubt, from reading the emails, that criminal activity had taken place at the News of the World,' the source said. 'The legal letter to News International was not just deeply misleading. After reading their contents, they should have called in the police'. The source added: 'The emails include strong suggestions of illegal payments to Royal Protection officers. You would have thought this might have been of interest to their clients at the Palace'.

    The Mail on Sunday understands that the stash of emails, held in the Harbottle & Lewis office, were unearthed by accident by Will Lewis, group general manager of News International, earlier this year. While trawling through the company's computer system for evidence of hacking, he came across an email which referred to 'the file' at the solicitors. When he obtained the emails, he was shocked by their contents and passed the file to another firm of solicitors, Hickman Rose.

    They asked Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service, to provide a report on the emails' contents for the board of News Corporation, News International's parent company, last month. Lord Macdonald wrote that he had found evidence of indirect hacking, breaches of national security and serious crime. He advised them to call in the police, which they then did – helping to spark the current furore.

    Labour MP Tom Watson, who has spearheaded Parliamentary calls for the full truth about the phone-hacking scandal to be exposed, has reported Harbottle & Lewis to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the legal watchdog. The police were first alerted to the hacking scandal after Prince William saw an item in Mr Goodman's column about his appointment with a knee surgeon which, he concluded, could only have come from intercepting one of his mobile phone messages. The Prince was advised by Harbottle & Lewis that a criminal offence had been committed.

    It is unclear why News International also chose to use Harbottle & Lewis to defend Mr Goodman's claim. Mr Goodman received a substantial payout from the newspaper group in July 2007. The SRA's Code of Conduct says that solicitors must not act in a case if it risks a conflict of interest, which is said to arise if they 'owe, or your firm owes, separate duties to act in the best interests of two or more clients in relation to the same or related matters, and those duties conflict, or there is a significant risk that those duties may conflict'. Harbottle & Lewis were first hired by the Prince of Wales eight years ago, at a time they were best known for their showbusiness work. Their remit has included warning newspapers to protect the privacy of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their courtship and marriage.

    Last night, a senior source at the Palace suggested that it was 'for Harbottle & Lewis' to answer claims of a conflict of interest, but added: 'The company's advice to us on hacking ended at the point when Clive Goodman was imprisoned. 'It was then that they gave advice to News International over his employment issue. They continued to work for us in other areas, but “Chinese walls” exist in these firms between employment lawyers, for example, and those working in other disciplines.'

    A spokeswoman for Lawrence Abramson, who was managing partner at the firm in 2007, said: 'Professional duty of confidentiality prevents me from commenting.' Both Buckingham Palace and News International last night declined to comment. Harbottle & Lewis did not respond to calls.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • Powerful 'must not be untouchable'(Does that include the royal mafia?)
  • FOURTEEN CROOKED LAWYERS DON'T GET PROSECUTED FOR FIDDLING LEGAL AID
    As we have been reporting for years Legal aid is the golden goose of the legal mafia. They have been stealing decent men's livelihoods in civil courts to prop up the criminal lawyers making a fortune from defending their serial criminal thug pals

    Fourten lawyers reported after being accused of fiddling Legal Aid - but not one prosecution

    LEGAL aid bosses have reported 14 lawyers to prosecutors for allegedly fiddling a fortune in taxpayers' cash - but not a single one has been put in the dock. Eleven suspected fraud cases were marked no proceedings, one lawyer was declared insane, one died and the other is still being considered.

    Crown officials did not identify any of the lawyers involved or reveal the scale of their alleged fraud. The revelations were made by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service director of operations Scott Pattison in response to a freedom of information request. His first reply identified 13 cases reported to the Crown Office since 2005. He later revealed there had been a 14th case. He said: "The Scottish Legal Aid Board did not submit a crime report but were assisted by the police in carrying out further inquiries." Mr Pattison added that this case was also marked no proceedings by the procurator fiscal.

    Last year, Scottish lawyers were given £155million of taxpayers' money for legal aid work. Despite public spending cuts biting elsewhere, they have opposed justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's attempt to reduce legal aid costs. Legal reform campaigner Peter Cherbi said: "It seems that the Crown Office - which is run by lawyers - has one rule for the legal profession and another for the rest of us. "If you receive taxpayers' money, you should be open to full public scrutiny." And MP Brian Donohoe added: "This is outrageous but hardly surprising given that it's lawyers regulating lawyers. "We need an independent system of regulation. Until that happens, people will have no confidence."

    The Sunday Mail have led the way in exposing lawyers accused of legal aid rackets. Four months ago we revealed that Kilmarnock solicitor Niels Lockhart, 60, raked in more than £600,000 in two years. Legal aid watchdogs ruled that Lockhart made dodgy claims but did not call in police. He is still practising but no longer claiming legal aid. We also exposed three lawyers who worked for Paisley firm Robertson & Ross. Ian Robertson was forced to hand back £221,847 in claims and banned from further claims. Colleagues Fraser Currie and Alastair Gibb were also banned.

    And last year we told how a lawyer banned from claiming huge sums of legal aid was back in business. Steven Anderson, 52, who worked in Springburn, Glasgow, pocketed £560,330 in one year. Slab blocked £500,000 of pending payments and banned all future claims by Anderson, but he was not struck off. Slab said: "We provide all relevant and available information to the police and Crown Office. It is for the procurator fiscal to decide if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution."

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • HACKERS AND THE PART LAWYERS AND THE LAW SOCIETY PLAY IN THEIR CRIMINALITY
    law society The Association of British Investigators were interviewed on Sky news over phone hacking by the News of the World mafia today . Their spokesman stated their members acted within the law and bragged that the British Law Societies endorse their work. That is like Al Capone saying he was endorsed by the mafia.

    What the hacking scandal has shown is that lawyers, acting as media advisers to the major corporate newspapers and tv, are behind the mass spy network being carried out under the guise of journalism. Tom Crone, the media lawyer for the News of the World, resigned this week under a cloud of criminality that he rubber stamped knowing the nature of how much of the information was gathered. Much of the tittle tattle about celebrities actually pushes wealthy couples who end up divorcing through malicious stories carried by the likes of the News of the World and into the hands of the divorce lawyers who rely on their partners in crime working for national newspapers to smear anyone they want to target. This then allows masons to asset strip in dodgy family courts run by the judicial mafia who aid and abet the mass stripping of men to prop up the multi trillion pound masonic coffers.

    Any man who has faced family courts knows the lengths these evil bastards will go to find everything about you, firstly to try and smear you and then to asset strip you. What they DON'T find they will make up and lie in court to get at your home and assets that ultimately prop up the Law Societies golden trough, the Legal aid honey pot, that is behind much of the funding to gold digging females and their lawyers to prize a mans assets from him through vile court orders that the judicial mafia create illegally , NEVER juries.

    We have already instigated actions that informed the Office of Fair Trading (who also use lawyers) of how lawyers throughout the UK embedded in every area of commerce and government and who we all rely on to survive , are using their privileged position to abuse data stored by the multi-national corporations , especially banks to raid the assets of men who find themselves at the extreme edge of a sinister spy network that knows no depths of depravity. Many men have lost their lives through the vicious attacks carried out by criminals masquerading as lawyers , judges, cops, private detectives and bailiff's who push men into bankruptcy , a major masonic ploy, that leaves assets wide open to seizure. The News of the World hacking is only a tiny part of the mass spying of citizens living under the cloud of Law society (crown) rule and the crooked coppers who are their minions and provide the muscle when men are tufted out of their homes forever.

  • LAWYER BEHIND THE MURDOCH HACKING SCANDAL
  • Lawyer Tom Crone behind NOTW hacking scandal resigns
  • LAWYER BEHIND THE MURDOCH HACKING SCANDAL
    tom crone TOM CRONE: AS WE HAVE BEEN EXPOSING FOR MANY YEARS MEDIA LAWYERS ARE BEHIND THE HACKING SCANDALS ROCKING BRITISH NEWSPAPERS AND THEIR MASONIC OWNERS AND EDITORS. MEDIA LAWYERS ACTING FOR THE LAW SOCIETY AND THEIR BAR ASSOCIATIONS AT THE INNS OF COURT , WHO WORSHIP AT THE TEMPLE CHURCH CONTROLLED BY THE UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND, ALL OF THEM BEHIND THE EVIL NETWORK OF DESTRUCTION MURDOCH AND HIS FELLOW PRESS BARONS CREATE .

    Lawyer Tom Crone: News International's go-to man on legal issues

    As the News of the World's chief lawyer, Tom Crone supervised the paper's internal inquiry into hacking in 2007 In more then 20 years as the legal supremo at Britain's biggest selling newspaper, Tom Crone has been the go-to man before and after publication. Privy to some of the most controversial front page stories, the head of legal affairs for the Sun and its Sunday sister title held regular meetings with Wapping executives. Crone is expected to leave News International amid questions over how much he knew about widespread phone hacking. Crone was unavailable for comment , although his assistant said he was expected back in the office later this week. News International declined to confirm or deny reports about his position.

    Crone's boss, James Murdoch, implied last week that the lawyer and the News of the World editor, Colin Myler, may have misled him about the £1m payment to football chief Gordon Taylor in 2008. The payment, revealed by the Guardian two years ago, was the first evidence that phone hacking had spread beyond the royal reporter Clive Goodman. As well as his involvement in this meeting, which has landed Rupert Murdoch's youngest son in so much trouble, Crone was also responsible for the internal investigations into the phone-hacking claims in 2007 and for telling MPs that phone hacking was limited to "the Goodman/Mulcaire situation". Having worked for so many editors, including Piers Morgan, Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Colin Myler, he regularly met Les Hinton, the head of News International before James Murdoch, to update him on legal matters.

    His involvement in the email investigation is detailed in the inquiry by the Press Complaints Commission, which recorded Colin Myler, the last editor of the NoW, as saying he instituted "an email search … involving up to 2,500 separate email messages in order to discover whether other News of the World staff were aware of the Goodman/Mulcaire criminal activity. These e-mail searches were conducted by our IT department under the supervision of News International's director of legal affairs, the director of human resources and an independent firm of solicitors". In evidence to a parliamentary select committee on the issue two years ago, Crone said: "I tasked myself with finding out what exactly had happened; what was known, who knew what other documents there might be. At no stage during their investigation or our investigation did any evidence arise that the problem of accessing by our reporters, or complicity of accessing by our reporters, went beyond the Goodman/Mulcaire situation." Last week, James Murdoch said of the same events: "The paper made statements to parliament without being in the full possession of the facts. This was wrong. The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."

    A trained barrister who has worked for NI for more than 20 years, Crone is considered a popular and powerful adviser. Someone who knows him well said: "He is a unique lawyer in that he has great journalistic instincts. He is sort of 10% journalist and is incredibly streetwise."

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • Temple Church
  • LAWYERS HELPED MURDOCH TARGET FORMER PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN VIDEO


    As we have been stating for a very long time lawyers ruthlessly use their ability to gather information on anybody they want to fleece and destroy. Here is Brown getting a taste of what separated men have had to tolerate for many years in corrupt crown courts that he as prime minister was ultimately responsible for yet did NOTHING to stop the outright tyranny of crooked judges and lawyers and the ease with which they can , like Murdoch, but more easily use the 'LAW' to gather info on their targets.

  • Lawyer behind Murdoch hacking scandal
  • LAWYERS: "I WOULD NEVER HAVE DREAMT THEY WOULD DO WHAT THEY DID"
    lawyers SITTING at her mother's dining table Ms M. browses through documents in several bursting lever-arch folders.

    They tell the story of how a handful of legal matters involving her mentally ill siblings and demented father escalated into a battle in which she has taken on the NSW legal profession. After frustration with her original lawyers, with those who assessed a disputed bill, and with the complaints mechanism, she has set up a Twitter account ''FixNSWLegal'' that has more than 6600 followers. She hopes to gather 25,000 signatures on a petition for the code of ethics to be reviewed - a signature for every practising solicitor in the state.

    Ms M. says many who have reviewed the case have failed to understand the issues, which include alleged underquoting and overcharging, misrepresentations, acting without instructions, failure to provide detailed bills, a lien over title deeds for property, bankruptcy proceedings and a long complaints process. She says many of those who have contacted her online have similar stories. The eight-year battle has torn the family apart and cost more than $500,000, including her mother's superannuation and a family home in Sydney, and left them with debts. ''All our attention was to try to get the three mentally ill [family members] to be medicated. We weren't concentrating. We trusted [the lawyers]. Not in a million years would I have ever imagined that they were going to do what they did to us,'' she says.

    The problems began with so-called consent orders agreed in the Family Court, which her mother says she did not agree to. The law does not require a client's written consent and her mother's lawyers dispute the allegation. The Law Society dismissed her complaint largely because it found ''no reasonable likelihood'' the lawyer would be found to have engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct. The office of the Legal Services Commissioner reviewed the investigation and confirmed the outcome, saying by law it could take action only if the conduct fell into those categories.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE
  • Watchdog bares teeth in battle to discipline dodgy lawyers in NSW
  • CROOKED LAWYERS BEHIND INSURANCE SCAMS VIDEO


  • Cops selling road crash victims' details to personal injury lawyers
  • SCANDAL IN THE CITY AS STRING OF TOP LAWYERS FACE FINANCIAL INVESTIGATION
    MORE AND MORE LAWYERS PROVEN TO BE UTTER CROOKS AND MANY STILL GETTING AWAY WITH MASSIVE RIP OFFS THANKS TO LAW SOCIETY'S TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THE MULTI-BILLION POUND FRAUD THEY ARE GETTING AWAY WITH.

    Does the sacking of Christopher Grierson over £1m in false expenses reflect a wider moral malaise among City lawyers?

    Until last month, Christopher Grierson was one of the most respected lawyers in the country. "A likeable, restrained and quietly spoken man," the former Hogan Lovells partner was runner-up (pdf) in the 2010 lawyer of the year awards after starring roles advising on the Bernard Madoff fraud case and the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse. No one knew Grierson, 59, was also busy amassing a total of £1m in false expenses, pocketing an annual £250,000 over a four year period. He did so mainly by booking flights on his credit card and claiming the value back from the firm – although they were subsequently cancelled.

    Grierson's luck ran out earlier this year when an internal investigation – initiated for reasons that remain a mystery – revealed what was happening. He was sacked a few weeks ago and later reported to the police. Since news of the scandal broke it has emerged that two further City lawyers are also under investigation for financial irregularities. Former Ince & Co partner Andrew Iyer is at the centre of allegations of a £3m fraud involving clients' money, and ex-Addleshaw Goddard partner Mark Gilbert is alleged to have made false expenses claims.

    It does not stop there. According to Frank Maher, a partner at Legal Risk, a leading law firm in the specialist field of professional regulation, another three City lawyers are being investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) – with one of the cases involving "one of the biggest law firms in the country, millions of pounds and a truly unbelievable set of facts". Maher adds that this is the busiest period he has ever known for breaches of conduct by large law firms. The obvious explanation for this apparent hike in crookedness is that City lawyers are short of cash. But while most have been hit by recession-driven falls in profits and the rise in top rate income tax to 50%, they still tend to be pretty comfortably off.

    Grierson, for example, was on £830,000 a year and seemingly in such good financial shape that he was able to repay the £1m he wrongly claimed almost immediately. In such circumstances, risking everything for some extra cash seems like insanity – or at least insane greed. Perhaps, though, insane greed is not so mad in the context of money-obsessed modern corporate law, where success is now measured in terms of how much dosh the highly competitive individuals drawn to this branch of the profession make, rather than how well they balance the commercial considerations of their clients with serving justice – as used to be the case to a far greater extent before the boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    Grierson's salary was huge, but there are partners in the City on £2m plus, not to mention senior bankers whose earnings often dwarf even that sort of sum. Innocent until proven guilty, Grierson's intentions may not have been dishonest, but as one of the UK's star lawyers who had brought in a string of big name clients to his firm, it's possible he felt his efforts were not sufficiently valued. If this was the case, it must have been quite a source of frustration for someone whose 24/7 career would have bound his self esteem especially closely to the office.

    Is it really such a stretch to imagine a seriously disgruntled person, who works in an environment where money is the only benchmark of performance, putting their hand in a cookie jar to which they have free access? It might not even have been such a big leap for a classic alpha City type like Grierson, who in 2001 prophetically told the Lawyer magazine, in response to a win in a big case, that "it's quite a challenge when you take on the establishment, and quite a challenge taking on big organisations that think they can protect themselves fairly well – sometimes they can and sometimes they can't". As gossip rages around the City about where the next scandal will appear, the focus is moving to what firms can do to protect themselves.

    With accounts rules breaches and dishonesty-related offences now making up over half (pdf) of all substantiated allegations against solicitors, an obvious starting point would be for them to tighten up their internal money-handling controls. A simple rule against self-certification of expenses would have been enough to stop Grierson. Surprisingly, though, there remains a reluctance to act, with a quaint consensus among City law firm partners that moral fibre remains as high as ever. Only 18% of respondents to a recent survey by Legal Week magazine conducted in response to the news about Grierson suggested the quality of financial monitoring and governance frameworks at major law firms "could be better".

    Meanwhile, 72% said they believed law firm partners have better ethical standards than their counterparts in banking and accountancy. A comparison with the banking sector may not be the best guide to standards, but the message behind the statistics is clear: lawyers have somehow managed to convince themselves that there is no ethical downside to greater alignment with the values of their corporate clients – an approach that has seen their salaries spiral over the last 15 years as they redefined themselves as big picture dealmakers rather than annoying sticklers for inconvenient detail. At best, refusing to admit that this new style of working exposes them to more risk is misplaced loyalty to an outdated professional idyll. At worst, it's intellectual dishonesty.

    Either way, this have-your-cake-and-eat-it mentality was more than evident in the reader comments to the original story about Grierson on thelawyer.com, with many of the lawyers who posted expressing support for the disgraced "gentleman". As one put it: "Chris was always the consummate professional, hard-working, a fantastic leader and a gentleman. I cannot imagine what prompted this behaviour and am sorry that he is having to endure this." Time for City lawyers to follow MPs in coming to terms with the fact that they are as susceptible to temptation as anyone else – if not more so.

  • FULL ARTICLE HERE