Ex-Hogan Lovells partner jailed for three years over £1.27m fraud

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  • Is it fair that this man should get three years for a pre-meditated 3-year fraud totalling over a million pounds, whilst many of those involved in the spur-of-the-moment London riots received 2 year sentences for handling low-value stolen goods (e.g. primark t-shirts and blu-ray players)?
    One rule for the rich.

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  • Yes I fully agree it should have been a much longer sentence. Lets hope that he does actually serve three years.

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  • Anonymous 1128, you're clearly a commie. I don’t know about you, but I would feel a lot safe with a city full of Grierson’s, as apposed to a city full of rioting thugs.

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  • no one was actually hurt, so a fair sentence

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  • So three years in jail but netting £1.2m (tax free) from the firm. An average of £400k per year....Gross that up with tax and it beats his salary...

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  • Presumably he had to steal the money so that his wife wouldn't notice how much he was spending on the mysterious "Lebanese woman."
    There must be a moral in this.

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  • Thank goodness he was given a nice lenient sentence for swindling his colleagues out of vast sums of money.
    Only a hateful communist would think he deserved anything more severe for his utterly dishonest thieving.

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  • @ 12:03
    A: doesn't have a stake in society
    B: has a £1m equity stake in Hogan Lovells
    A & B decide to loot. Who should the courts come down hard on, assuming they stole goods to the same value (even though on the facts, there's a massive disparity)?
    However, the public policy response is:
    A: emergency through-the-night courts to mete out OTT sentences
    B: an impotent (and soon to be defunct) SFO doing nothing & sympathetic courts giving a lenient sentence

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  • There can't be many roles outside Law Firm Partner where you could make false claims at that level for so long before anyone noticed. If the FD is still the same, hope he has his story well rehearsed.

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  • i actually agree with comment no.1 one and i am not a commie. Without knowing anything beyond what i've read about the case in the press solicitors command a great deal of public trust. As officers of the court and whether one does criminal, civil, contentious or non-contentious work the penalty should be heavy for such dishonesty. After all, although most of the time it does not seem it to those in the profession, solicitors and barristers enjoy a great deal more direct and indirect power than the everyday man in the street

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  • @John Smith | 30-May-2012 12:03 pm
    As far as one can tell we already do have a City 'full of Griersons', it's just we have only exposed so very few of them so far.
    Moreover, what is fiddling travel expenses compared to the great 'thefts' on the market carried out everyday by investment bankers and fund managers tipping each other off and sharing information only with a select few to distort the market in their favour? Grierson is small fry compared to them and the billions involved. Let's get our priorities right.

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  • He was clearly ill and resorted to desperate measures.He will serve half his sentence and the remainder will be suspended but what life has he when he comes out?

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  • @anonymous 30-May-2012 11:28 am "one rule for the rich"
    I dealt with a sad case where a salesman accidentally invoiced a large company for orders it hadn't received. The company evidently didn't check and paid up. This salesman's employers (unaware of any fraud or mistake) congratulated the salesman on his fine sales figures. Swelled by this praise (and contribution towards meeting his target for annual bonus) the salesman invoiced the same company for more goods it hadn't received. This went on for a few years until discovered. The salesman was prosecuted and his employers refunded the customer (some of) the money.
    The salesman himself "benefitted" from the fraud by about £6k per year (as it caused him to meet his modest sales bonus target).
    Although his total fraud was greater in value (£4million or so- of which he indirectly received no more than £20k) and he admitted his wrongdoing as soon as he was caught, he was jailed for 6 years. 6 years in return for a pat on the back at work and a helping hand towards meeting his sales targets. Sad eh?

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  • At least some of the money went to a good cause, as he 'had spent over £600,000 of the stolen money pursuing a Lebanese woman he had fallen in love with in New York'.
    A fool and his (firm's) money are soon parted.

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  • A most bizarre case. He clearly was a very talented lawyer so this all looks a bit tragic, my thoughts are with his poor family. It seems his sense of honesty was lost in the vain pursuit of an unrequited love that turned out to be very expensive. If this mysterious Lebanese woman needed half a million each year to be wooed clearly the suitor wasn't very suitable. Is he married? Ugh. Mortifyingly desperate.
    Previous comparisons to theft crimes during the London riots are idiotic. That situation was totally different and occurred with a bundle of other crimes such as assault, battery and criminal damage. But, lawyers are in a fiduciary relationship with their clients, creating greater obligations and a more pressing need for honesty than the average person. I would have given him a longer sentence.

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  • It's a bit ridiculous to compare this with riot sentences and make the unsubstantiated claim of 'one rule for the rish and one for the poor'.
    Firstly, if Grierson had gone out and joined in the riots I'm sure he would have received an equivalent sentence to the other people involved.
    Secondly, the riots created terror throughout London and led to several deaths - things that were taken into account in the sentences handed down.
    Thirdly, it is arguable that the impact of a jail term for someone in Grierson's position will generally be far geater than the majority of those convicted in the riots. A dishonestly in employment/fraud offence closes a lot more doors than a conviction for violence.
    (also, he did return all the money)

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  • Please can we stop with all this 'he was sick' and 'his life will be ruined once he gets out'. This man's only ailment was that he was sick of self-love and addled by the bought affection of his Lebanese bit on the side. Why would one assume that this man is going to endure genuine hardship once he gets out the can in a year and a half? He's 26 years PQE and has been an equity partner for more than a decade (earning a 30x multiple of national mean earnings every year): I think it's safe to say he'll live a comfortable life even if he never works again. Instead spare a thought for all those who were convicted on trumped-up charges in protest/riot scenarios - and who'll never work again due to the CRB system.

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  • Gierson paid pack GBP 1 million, reported by The Lawyer a couàple of years back. It always seemed to me that he took advances on partnership payouts because he was overrloaded with the Lehman Brothers BK, where - you might recall - he was able to defend the rights of former LEH staff.
    Note that the Lebanese lady isn'ty named; I have stood in court and heard top lawyers knowingly perjure themseves.

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  • I am the lebanese woman now single, only rich lawyers please contact me.

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  • as my former boss used to say, in cases like this there are usually slow horses or fast women involved.
    He was lucky to draw that judge - many of what the judge appears to have regarded as mitigating factors would be regarded by many others as aggravating.

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