DLA Piper faces regional revolt over LawVest investments

  • Print
  • Comments (29)

Readers' comments (29)

  • hubris gets them all in the end

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good faith as defined by the board. The names of the 'others' are likely known, but TA & the board may prefer not to disclose them.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Investments in good faith that they would a tidy profit, not in good faith to their non-investing fellow DLA partners. Get DLA to divert some of its business to LawVest then share the profit from doing so between a limited number of partners. No conflict of interest there at all oh no no..... what planet is he on?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • All animals are equal.....but some are more equal than others!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a cheap, tawdry affair.
    And it’s not as if DLA has any reserves of prestige to see them through. They are already in bargain basement.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This may turn out to be a savvy investment by DLA yet, time will tell. In a firm this size there are bound to be disgruntled partners. DLA has also been a forward looking firm, it's obviously a little too much for some!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Who knew The Lawyer was on DLA's board or a member of its partnership?

    It seems the situation could have been handled better but the decision to divest shows a willing to rectify unintended hard feelings.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • LawVest - an awful awful name.

    I'm fully expecting Roll On Friday to run this story with Sir Nigel pictured in his law vest.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • There have always been rumoured to be other "investments" too. Wonder if those are finally coming to light?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • If, as seems to be the case, DLA intends to divert work to LawVest, work which regional or other partners would otherwise have undertaken, surely this investment by DLA should have been discussed and voted on by the entire partnership, with all the partners having been given full disclosure of what LawVest's purpose was? There is of course no question that there was a conflict of interest when the individual partners invested in LawVest or that they should divest themselves of this investment ....and not to their wives or other family members.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anon at 5.33pm - this is nothing to do with the firm's investment - it is a question of conduct for those indvidual partners who have invested personally for their own personal gain and by doing so have called in to question their basic duties of good faith to their firm and their fellow partners. It raises many issues for them and the firm on conflicts of interest, breach of duty of good faith, unfair preference to name a few. They should have never made the personal investments and their luck of judgement in so doing calls into question their position as Partners in the firm - they should each individually answer to their fellow Partners and take blame for their errors - that the Board of DLA Piper have shown no back bone in dealing with this and are now attempting to dampen the issue down is shameful and I suspect will lead to a further escalation of the issues. One of Tony Angel's role is to deal with exactly this sort of issue - he has failed to do so in a convincing manner and his (and the Board's) failure in doing that doing will have lost him and the Board a great deal of support. Shame on all those involved.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • knowles and, where relevant other partners should be made to account to the partnerhip for the personal benefits they get from acitivities or roles they carry out as partners. For instance Knowles features (or will feature following a feb 15 interview} in the British Airways "Business Life" magazine. How many free airmiles or upgrades will or has he recieved as a result. It is just a part of his job to do such things and the rewards he receives for doing this job should be shared or at least accounted for.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • They must have been aware at some level that there was a conflict of interest. I suspect the reason Nigel Knowles and the other (no doubt senior and nearing retirement) partners didn't disclose the investments was an attitude of "We're in charge, we can do what we like, why should we have to clear it with the underlings?"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Looking at this as an outsider and an in house counsel, this whole affair is a fiasco and, try as one might, it is not possible to not to come to the conclusion that Knowles and his mates were at best stupid (and negligent in their knowledge of the law and their obligations under their partnership deed). The alternative to their being stupid is that they were dishonest, and you really have to believe/hope that is not the case . Whatever, it is a red alert. Clients may want to think carefully before using these people for legal advice on anything that is even mildly complicated - their best damage limitation in the face of clients on this, is to name the individual partners, who along with Knowles, made this investment and caused the fiasco - that way we will know who to avoid rather than avoiding the whole firm.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don't like the sound of the good faith argument. What about the fiduciary duties owed to the LLP and its members?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • They should call an emergency partners meeting and have each of the investing partners account for their actions to their fellow partners and to discuss the whole LawVest investment by DLA

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oh rats, I got caught - now that I got caught, of course I will divest.
    Gee, if I were an underling I'd be tossed out.
    Wait, wait, I am a master of the universe, I won't get tossed out.
    Whew, got away with that one.
    Now who is the b*****d that blew this little scheme of ours open. I'll get them yet.
    Wonder whether TA will give me a hand? Those tattlers will feel my wrath, and I will ruin them, and I will say that they were unfit, and.... and....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The Lawyer must be delighted that the people that usually bring their wisdom to the Daily Mail's website are now flocking to theirs!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This reads like a gossip column i.e. most of this is probably not true!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorence on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, cause I've worked in a lot of offices, and I tell you, people do that all the time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The sad thing is most of what is on here is true - the real facts are I suspect even more daming - a complete stitch up and the culprits will continue to believe they can walk on water as they are in Nige's gang - the Board and Tony Angel have let the firm and the vast majority of the Parnership down by not dealing with this firmly now and there is a large body of Partners not satisfied with the current approach - some of the culprits profess they did not realise the conflict point or potential breach of duty of good faith to their firm and fellow partners - that open admission should lead them to realising they are not fit and proper to be Partners at any law firm .... but of course their arrogance won't enable them to see this. The individuals are known - what goes around comes around ... hopefully sooner rather than later - it couldn't happen to a finer bunch and I for one look forward to their day of reckoning !! Or guys do the decent thing and take a walk. You will be waved off with cheers.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Definition of 'good faith defense': (1) clean heart, empty head; (2) also known as the 'dumb a**e defense' - i.e. I was too stupid to know what was going on; (3) fall back defense if stonewalling or pounding on the table doesn't work; (4) the defense right before cringing and crying and sputtering '... oh, please don't'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This won't be the only thing to come to light

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I am amused by those trying to apply the ethics of a bygone time to this episode. The law has ceased to be a profession and is now a hard nosed business containing hard nosed people who define themselves and their perceived successes by the size of their assets. This one back fired but how many times has this sort of thing happened and remained under the radar? It will all be forgotten in no time and the regional partners will settle down without thinking too much about the master plan and what Lawvest means for them in the medium term.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don't think the law on taking a secret profit can be regarded as the ethics of a bygone time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As an old school, provincial solicitor, whose nose has never been in the trough,the only encouraging thing to emerge from all this is the number of outraged and conventional lawyers,like me, who have posted their disgust at the greedy antics and shown that they do not need the awfulness of this matter spelled out or conflict of interest explained. And ABS Has only just started!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • When basic ethics like this appear to be breached by senior Partners in a firm and the Board and the Senior Partner of that firm then fail to address that in any sort of adequate manner for the Partnership one must question how long it will be before clients and existing Partners vote with their feet and walk - one hopes a vote of no confidence is on its way - one must question whether the weak handling of this by the Board and the Senior Partner will now lead to the start of a terminal decline - when basic standards like this slip and are allowed to slip all is lost.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Does the lack of reports of new developments indicate the sound of things being swept under the rug?
    As to the previous post, lawyers leaving would require integrity - I have my lamp, just where is that honest man?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dear Sir

    Oops.

    Yours faithfully

    Arthur

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (29)