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A CONTRACT has been taken out on the life of a high-profile lawyer by the clients of an opponent in court.
The lawyer, a top London solicitor who asked not to be named, had to resort to bodyguards after contract killers were hired to target him, his wife and his family.
He said that he has suffered "direct threats and intimidation" for the last year and a half, to the extent that he and his family have had to have special protection from the police and security services. The lawyer who had been co-defending the case with him has also had to endure threats, although not to the same extent, he said.
Lawyers called for help from the Law Society and police this week in the face of a growing number of death threats against solicitors.
Last week, news emerged that City firm Rakisons has had to hire personal bodyguards for two of its partners and their families faced with death threats as a result of the practice acting for victims of a suspected £100m investment scheme fraud.
In the same week, a man was jailed for 21 months for harassing and threatening to kill a solicitor at London legal aid firm Rosenbergs.
Djamel Allache, of no fixed abode, was sentenced by Judge George Bathurst-Norman to 21 months' prison at Southwark Crown Court for threatening on three occasions to kill Peter Frankland, then a solicitor at Kentish Town firm Rosenbergs.
In court, Frankland said Allache had "shouted down the phone that he was going to blast my face off".
Allache, representing himself, denied this.
Frankland told The Lawyer after the trial: "We used to use a rota system when he phoned where we would take the call for 10 minutes each because he would jam up the switchboard by ringing in continually."