Clifford Chance's Charlton arrested over Hong Kong car crash

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  • If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

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  • Who cares?

    So DUI is not good, sure - we all know that. But lead story on what is supposed to be an informative legal website? Come on guys...leave this one for Ming Pao and don't insult your own intelligence and well established reputation for quality legal journalism. I would suggest that this one be archived now!

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  • I thought this type of expat behaviour was long gone. Obviously not!

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  • Well its his personal matter and i don think anyone has to really bother about his behavior!!ITs unto him to keep up the professional sanity so long as he does not become unprofessional!!Who knows what personal mental trauma he had in his family to drink dat much!!the comfortable news is no one is injured is that accident!!

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  • @ Arun | 16-Mar-2012 11:46 am - It's a 'personal matter' which we should all show huge understanding and sympathy for if it's someone at the the top, and instant dismissal and a likely career change for anyone else. Even in the case of a serious criminal offence.

    Despicable.

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  • 'understanding & sympathy''....''personal mental trauma..''....this is a drunk driver that came close to killing lives, probably after a jolly of some description .... !

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  • I hope that those people whose comments are effectively trying to talk this despicable crime down as a "personal matter" are from CC PR department and are not qualified solicitors. If you are and that is your standard, you are clearly not fit to be practsing, particularly in today's regulatory climate.

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  • See if you can spot the CC spin doctors in this comments thread. If he was an associate he would be soon gone for bringing the firm into disrepute, but because he is a top guy it is a personal matter and we should feel sorry for him. I imagine CC paid for the booze that nearly killed a poor taxi driver

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  • If he had killed someone in the accident, would it still be a personal matter?
    A car my daughter was in was hit by a drunk driver. She survived just fine, one of her friends was killed. The story did hit a personal chord.

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  • Charlton's predicament would be enough to turn most men to drink.
    A Clifford Chance partner would never show such poor judgment however, such weakness of character is a trait found only in the peasants.

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  • Some of the responses to this article seem to display an element of disdain towards the legal profession. I wonder why that is the case and more importantly, what can we do change this opinion.

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  • He has survived, like many at CC, for years under the one rule for them and another rule for us on a whole range of so called " personal matters ", but this time it will be difficult to hide and just shuffle him off somewhere else, which is what they did when they sent him to Hong Kong in the first place

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  • at least he didn't tell them he'd been kidnapped

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  • what 'mental trauma' or 'predicament' are the above posts referring to? what happened to him?

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  • A Jaguar sports car? How cliche - he should be fired for lack of creativity in choice of automobile.

    To LawMap - the reason that 'disdain' is the case is that many lawyers are moral pygmies. Law is no longer a profession - it is a business where sales matters, and little else. Shakespeare would now say; 'the first thing we do is co-opt all of the lawyers, that should be easy.'

    Maybe we should have an index what level of business will allow you to get away with what level of miscreant behaviour. How much business to get away with a drunk driving charge? Anyone want to start bidding?

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  • Striking, isn't it, that CC doesn't regard him as important enough to need a driver?

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  • Well at least he hasn't yet blamed his questionable behaviour on mental instability and gotten away with his crime a la Amina Bokhary.

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  • See you in the dole queue Pete.

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  • This was a typical behaviour of English expects overseas! Drunk and break the law.

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  • Public transport in HK is cheap and plentyful. I am afraid this shows arrogance on a grand scale. A senior partner whose earnings must be stratospheric can easily afford a taxi or even a driver. Driving after a hooley is just unacceptable which ever you lok at it. It may be a personal matter right now but if he gets convicted and loses his practicing cert, I think it will be a firm matter then as he wont be able to earn fees and then who would be stumping up for the large expat deal he is likely to be on (house, car, schools, flights, etc etc).

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  • Peter Charlton is a top man - always has been from the days of being an "articled clerk" - and his normal, down to earth Geordie-ness would never allow him to be as arrogant as to have a "personal driver".
    You know, sometimes these things happen ... and you all would not have even noticed enough to have made it such a big deal in if he had not been at the top of his game professionally.

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  • Another Clifford Chance partner showing such poor judgment

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  • To Christina
    See my post above re a drunk driving accident. Sometimes drunk driving accidents lead to fatalities - you know sometime these things happen.
    Because he is 'at the top of his game' then he is an example; with notoriety comes responsibility.
    What pathetic excuse making.

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  • Drink driving is not an irrelevant matter; it is not in the same category as street littering or jaywalking. His thoughtless conduct might have had serious consequences for others drivers or a pedestrian.
    There is no excuse. All the more so in a town where taxis are cheap and plentiful.
    Have to agree with the "double standards" comments; had he been an employee, no doubt CC would be distancing themselves very quickly. Not that they have been publicly supportive so far ~ hedging their bets?

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  • To Christina
    Having a driver isn't about arrogance; it's about being prudent. If your firm expects you to be spending substantially all your time in businesss development activities (which is surely what Charlton is in the Far East to do) and those activities expect alcohol to be consumed, then it makes sense that you're given proper tools to ensure you do so safely.

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  • To James Hill and to "Anonymous" at 11:43am
    I am sure Peter took your valuable comments into account when he did what he did. He is, after all, human - obviously neither of you have ever made an error in your lives.

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  • Haha - well this is just CC right to the bone. Protect the partners and sod the rest of em. Like a certain London partner who cashes in his taxi receipts to get home (all of 3 stops on the tube) every few months to the tune of nearly 2 grand, whilst all business staff in that department get bugger all in bonuses every year! Oh and the partner who refuses any business staff to use the O2 box as they "don't want that sort of person using it". Well, it just goes on..... good luck Mr Charlton, I'm sure you won't need it!

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  • To Christina
    I am smart enough to know that I don't drink and drive. I have made errors, but not where I would have put somone's life at risk.
    Perhaps you should have had a look at the mangled car and body of a young woman that I mentioned above and then apologize for your beloved Charlton. Oh sorry, she might not have been part of the 'smart set'.
    Words heard at a fatal drunk driving accident: "Pshaw, everyone makes mistakes." Christina, was that you speaking?
    I am really disgusted by the apologists for the top pops at the big firms, whether it be CC, DLA and Nigel's conflict of interest shuffle, or others. Ordinary rules of morality, integrity and responsibility do not apply to them.

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  • My local online paper's classified ads car section gave me a link to this thread – very strange! But I'm looking for a second hand Jaguar Sports model, low millage and one careful owner. Can anyone point me in the right direction. Much appreciate.

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  • I can't believe that some people are saying "its OK". Its not OK whoever you are - this man was THREE TIMES over the drink-drive limit and nearly caused a fatal accident, its extremely serious. There may be underlying issues, but its still unacceptable.
    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but in my view Partners are supposed to be leaders and set an example to others in their firm. Not to mention the SRA Code of Conduct imposes ethical obligations on all English lawyers. This makes it even worse, though it would still be unacceptable even if he were not a Partner.

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  • It is sad there are so many apologists for Charlton. Sad comment about the moral standing of the profession. That sort of 'me-me-me' value system is evidenced in all sorts of dealings, whether business or personal.

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  • Some of the comments and defenses mounted here are clearly poorly planned spin by authorized or unofficial "sock puppets "... probably of the poor prospects variety ( but who will believe the guff anyway )....I wonder whether it would be interesting to know who he was out on the p*** with..maybe that was enough to drive him to ( over ) drink... he has been and presumably remains most definitely a more than capable lawyer and a very colorful character among the grayness of many of his colleagues but also the beneficiary of the largesse or tolerance accorded those on the inside..It is extremely fortunate, no doubt, that there is not a human tragedy in all of this and just professional issues which will have to be addressed.

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  • To Christina - your defence of his behaviour is deplorable - are you a paid flunkie or just utterly deluded/infatuated? I am sure even Charlton is having regrets over his stupidity and recklessness - looks like if he is at the 'top of his game' it might be worth cutting his losses while he is ahead. This recklessness may hide a deeper and darker malaise.

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  • Does anyone how the Jag is?

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  • Christina,
    What is your interest in this, exactly?

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  • Clunk Click: just observational.
    Brave Anonymous (12:01 - 22 March): Nobody's a flunkie, deluded or infatuated. Just seen far too many lawyers over the years do almost exactly what Peter did, only they didn't get caught. I also don't think anyone other than he (or his family and/or friends) is in a position to state that his "recklessness may hide a deeper darker malaise" - obviously you don't fit into those categories.

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