Field Fisher lawyers freed from Mumbai terror ordeal

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  • How is this self-promotion?

    These comments don't make any sense: how is this self-promotion?!!!!! I don't think that he arranged the terrorists himself!!!!

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  • FFW

    I'm glad this guy's been released unharmed. However, as a lawyer I'm embarrassed that his ego is clearly so big he can't see that he's coming across as a complete prat. All this "I wasn't going to let the terrorists put me off my stride" stuff. Were it not for the awfulness of the events, it would be hilarious.

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  • I was there too

    I was holed up in the Trident hotel for 38 hours. I got out at 12 IST today. It was a very scary time.

    I had ordered room service at around 10.15 pm on Wednesday. 15 minutes later I received a call from room service telling me that my order could not be delivered because of an emergency. I asked what sort of emergency and the woman responded she could not tell me. I thought that the kitchen caught on fire, so decided to go to the Oberoi, which is linked to the Trident, to get some food. The lifts were out and I called the operator but could not get an answer. I knew something was amiss but didn't think there had been a terrorist attack. I was on the 27th floor and decided to walk down. I got as far as the 14th floor when, to my horror, I saw a blood soaked landing. I quickly turned around and started to walk up the stairs back to my room. My heart was in my mouth as I heard footsteps coming down the stairs. To my relief, it was a fellow guest. I told him my horrific discovery. He looked at me disbelieving, so he had a look for himself and confirmed it was indeed blood. We both headed up the stairs and meet another guy coming down the stairs. He too looked at us with disbelief but a loud explosion soon changed his mind and we all headed up the stairs. Another explosion rocked the building as we reached the 23rd floor, where one of the guys had a room, so we all decided to head there. As we walked along the hallway a gentleman opened his door. We told him what happened and along with another man just passing by, went into his room.

    There were five men in the room including me (an Australian). The other four men comprised a Canadian, an American, Frenchman and an Indian. We barricaded the door and then watched in horror as the story of the attack unfolded on live television. We could hear the explosions and rifle fire close by.

    The TV reception was cut off in the early morning and from then on we relied on text messages and phone calls to know what was going on. My colleagues and people I know in India were sending me updates. The other guys were also getting updates. A lot of the news was conflicting throughout the time I was there. It does not help that the Trident and the Oberoi next door are colloquially known together as the Oberoi (the Trident was the original Oberoi, was renamed the Oberoi Towers, then the Trident Hilton and now the Trident).

    As we were locked and barricaded in the room, I was not too concerned about terrorists getting into the room. My main concern was the hotel catching fire - I had seen the Taj on fire early on Thursday morning. I was on the 23rd floor, so jumping out of the window was not an option. I was very scared when I got a report saying that the Oberoi's roof was on fire and there were small fires in the Trident. Luckily, these fires did not spread.

    After several false dawns, I was very relieved to have the army and the hotel staff knock on the door. They lead me down to the lobby, which was strewn with broken glass and splatterings of blood. My passport and baggage was still in my room on the 27th floor and after 20 minutes the staff took me to my room and let me get my stuff.

    I was escorted outside, quickly processed and met by the Australian Consul General, Peter Forby, put on a bus to the ITC Maratha hotel, near the airport, from where I am writing to you. I am catching a flight out of here tonight.

    I am an Australian living in London and working as a US corporate lawyer for Dorsey & Whitney. I have been to India more than 20 times and Mumbai at least 10 times. I do a lot of work on equity capital raisings for Indian companies, including for Central Bank of India, HT Media (publisher of the Hindustan Times), Jagran Publications Limited (publisher of Jagran Prakashan, the newspaper with the largest readership in the world). I just worked on an equity raising for ibn18 Broadcast Limited, which owns CNN IBN, that closed yesterday. I found it iron

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  • Field Fisher lawyers freed from Mumbai ordeal

    "Anonymous"'s comments were spot on.

    The self-importance of lawyers such as this Abel character is astonishing, and frankly nauseating.

    One assumes that FFW will be contributing heavily and publicly to appropriate charitable funds in India and recording such generousity through your pages.

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  • Anonymous

    it is easy to be in control of one's space when one is hiding in one's room after hearing a loud bang!

    it might have been thoughtful of Mr Abell to have moved away from his own space in order to assist those who needed help. There is nothing heroic about attending a board meeting when one has not been in direct line of fire.

    He would come across in a better light had he commented instead on the courageous actions of others on that day. Michael Murphy might well have attended a board meeting had he not lost consciousness after being shot in the ribs.

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  • Dreadful!

    So you are trapped in a hotel room with terrorists all around. What do you do? Answer: Call the Today Programme. How is this NOT crass self-promotion.

    What other purpose could there be for calling the Today Programme? If anything, in a world of international communications, doing this may have drawn a resident terrorist’s attention to him. What does the “except perhaps for one person” bit of “Everybody - except perhaps for one person - was there supporting me," convey? And the insistence on joining the meeting is just ridiculous.

    Like others, I felt a pang of compassion for him when I heard the interview. I am also delighted that he is out and safe and well, but I would be utterly ashamed of his behaviour if I was his partner.

    I have always found the crass characterisations in Towering Inferno and other similar disaster movies wholly unrealistic. Now I am not so sure. These people really exist!

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  • Think for yourself

    Outrage at Abell's supposed self-promotion is like anger at Jonathan Ross and Russel Brand. People who thought it for themselves? About two. People who thought it after they were persuaded of it by other people: about 2,000.

    Don't just jump on the bandwagon.


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  • Sick

    Well after following this story very closely, and realsing the horrific ordeal that this guy has been through I can honestly say it's sick to think that all of you lot seem to think that he is doing this to promote his company< why shouldn't he tell his story!

    I don't think any of you can comment how brave this man was unless you were actually there with murderers running riot killing everyone - I think the pschologicall damage is greater in cases like this, so unless you have a back ground in psychology I suggest you be quiet and keep your useless opinions to yourself! !

    I thought this business was full of intelligent sympathetic people, how wrong can a person be! This man was brave and tried to keep going under these circumstances and if you can't see that your totally deluded!

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  • What the hell is your problem?

    Mark Abel's a crass self-publicist is he? Oh yeah, he's terrible, he spoke to reporters from his hotel room so he could advertise Field Fisher. Are you mental?

    During the interview on the Today Programme this morning he mentioned where he worked once. He was only in India because he was on a business trip - I think he is perfectly entitled to say who sent him there.

    He's talking about law firms on this site because the audience are lawyers. As for "helping out those in need" instead of hiding in his hotel room - who are you, Jack Bauer? And if he wants to work while he's trapped, so what? I suppose you would have been sharpening breadsticks into weapons. Get off your high horse.

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  • Terrorists in India

    After reading Jamie's story and watching for myself on the news I am in shock at reading some of the comments written in relation to Jamie's terrifying story. For the lawyer who is embarrassed to be a lawyer because he thinks Jamie's ego is so big I had to laugh, i would like to see what you would do put in that position !!I I think Jamie showed bravery and courage all the way! Your the one with the big ego!

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  • xxx

    Yes he is talking about it on this site because the audience are lawyers and it's called 'news' and it's something that needs to be talked about, so we can put a stop to these terrorists in whatever which way we can!

    To the Lawyers that are embarrassed to be lawyers because of this story, well you should be embarrassed to be yourself because I don't think you'd be any where near as brave! now do some work!!

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  • I dont agree

    Is work really that important, when people are being shot around you, why would you feel the need to attend a board meeting and to be “in control” of your “own space” - is that supposed to impress...

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  • Am I being thick?

    Where is there any mention of the Today programme in this story?

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  • FFW

    I used to work with the guy. Make no mistake he knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he was name checking the firm.

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  • Anonymous

    It's not so much what he did but the way he trumpeted victoriously the fact that he was " in control of his own space " as if he had, at great risk and with personal courage, somehow managed to thwart the terrorists. It is that statement above all else which makes him look so very bad. The true heroes never make statements, or at least not vapid ones like like Abell's.

    Jamie's comment is different - he doesn't make statements. He is simply telling his terrible story.

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  • Who are you to criticize ?

    In typical lawyer fashion people look to criticize when they should show empathy and support to a fellow lawyer caught in a life threatening scenario. Who are you to judge someone like Mark Abell when you have probably never even had to fear for your life before. Go home and get a life.

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  • Mumbai solicitor

    I heard the interview with James Naughtie on Radio 4 this morning and thought that Mr Abell did his profession proud;he recounted events calmly and professionally and praised the fortitude and courage of the hotel staff and emergency services despite being clearly overwrought by the horrific events.

    I'd like to think that I could have been as professional as he was in all the circumstances but I doubt it.

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  • Mark Abell

    I was so shocked to see that Mark was caught in the Mumbai terror attacks. I met Mark once at the INTA meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA and I was impressed with his tremendous sense of humour- Mark remember the Alamo! I am therefore not surprised that he was able to cope with his ordeal with such resiliance. As we say in Jamaica "Walk good Mark!".

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  • Channel 4 News Interview

    Did anyone watch the Channel 4 News interview last night? It was about 3 minutes long, and Channel 4 News plastered across the screen for the entire 3 minutes "MARK ABELL, PARTNER, FIELD FISHER WATERHOUSE". Yes it is shameless promotion. I can't think of many people I know who would use such a horrible event to promote their firm. Read/watch the interviews of other hostages and you will see that they do not think it appropriate to say "hey by the way I work for X, X does a lot of work in India".

    As for conducting a board meeting from his hotel room, how sad. I would be on the phone to my family for the entire time. But then I might not win as much work for my firm if I did that.

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  • Oh Dear

    On the radio again this morning, and only four (or five) mentions of FFW. He's a lawyer, making decisions and solving problems is what he does. Advising on IP issues / surviving terrorist acts - all in a days work ... couldn't believe it.

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  • Be careful

    I think all those sitting in judgment of this guy should just consider how they would react in a similar situation. The truth is nobody really knows how they are going to react and it is very easy to judge from the comfort of an arm chair.

    A Singaporean solicitor working with Stephenson Harwood lost her life. She was only 28. Perhaps the energy being spent condemning Mr Abell would be better used reflecting on the loss of that young lady and the many others - lawyers or not.

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  • WHAT?!

    Where has all this stuff about Radio 4 come from? The story above doesn't mention Radio 4!

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  • Mark Abell

    Yes Mark was brave but it is completely inappropriate to milk publicity for his firm and himself out of this tragedy. 180 people have lost their lives, and 180 families are grieving, for goodness sake.



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  • Cringe

    This morning, as I heard the interview on Radio 4, I had to bury myself under a pillow, I was cringing so much about the shameless self promotion of his firm.

    I am a lawyer, and I am pretty sure that legal training teaches you nothing about surviving terrorist attacks (unless they have specific courses at FFW). No doubt his was a terrible experience, but his exploitation is shameful.

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  • But who is the one exception?

    There is another interesting story lurking here. He was very careful to say: "Everybody - except perhaps for one person - was there supporting me". Who is this one person? What did he/she do to show he/she did not support him? What would have induced such nastiness?

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  • Mark Abell

    As a former PA of FFW and someone who has worked under Mark Abell (and put up with his arrogance) I would just like to say that, whilst, I wish no harm on him (after all he is a family man), the thought of him cowering behind closed doors brought a smile to my face

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  • Mark Abell

    Whilst I understand that Mark Abell has been through a horrific experience his self-promotion through the media disgusts me.

    When he was led out of the Oberoi with the other guests most of them walked away simply relieved to be safe and free. But not Mark - he insisted in coming over to the media and promoting himself. When he was asked to move along by the security guard for his own safety, he was insistent that he wanted to ensure the media knew he was a 'lawyer from FFW'.

    Not once did he speak about the staff that laid their lives on the line to save people like him or those that died in this horrific event. No mention of the staff that stayed behind to ensure the protection of the guests when they could have been saved. No mention of those that died or lost their family.

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  • Wrong!

    Mark Abell DID mention the staff, and he DID mention those that died and lost their family. DId you actually listen to him, or are you just jumping on the bandwagon?

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  • Mark Abell

    Mark Abell has been through an horrific ordeal and I am glad that he was rescued safely by the Indian Commandos. It was interesting to hear him on the Today Prog and I thought he was most probably putting his own life in danger by doing so and advertising the fact that he is there. The terrorists apparently had blackberrys and were monitoring the western news and media.

    I also watched Mark's interview on the BBC breakfast programme this morning in which he appeared with his wife. He did praise the Commando's who helped save him and the hotel staff. However I don't remember him mentioning any of those that died or or sending his condolences to those that had lost loved ones.

    I hope that the evil terrorists who plotted this atrocity are found and they are taken out!

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  • Disgraceful

    People lying dead and injured, and this guy name-dropping FFW at every possible opportunity. I heard him on Radio 4 and watched his performance on BBC Breakfast - I cringed all of the way through. FFW? FFS!

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  • Mark Abell

    I really hope Mark Abell reads these comments. It is just pathetic that the most important thing on his mind when people are being tortured and killed around him is letting people know that he works for FFW. There's more to life mate!

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  • Pig Ignorant

    There's only one way to describe Mark Abell's critics.

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  • FFW

    Callous self promotion of the worst kind. If there was ever a case of someone losing perspective of his own importance and what he does, this has to take the biscuit. If he really did care about the business of the board meeting, he would not have distracted the attendees by being there. I can just imagine his faux-modesty as colleagues come on his wellbeing. What a terrible way to try and manipulate people.

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  • Pondlife

    If there was ever a case of people losing perspective, it's these comments. So he name-dropped his firm - big deal. Stop getting all Daily Mail about it.

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  • Cynical

    I wouldn't be surprised if Mark Abell was the criminal mastermind behind the terrorist attacks, while all the time planning how he was going to use the carnage to maximise publicity for Field Fisher.

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  • Still attended meetings though...

    Is noone else surprised that he still dialled in to board meetings while barricaded in his room? 'Some' of the partners would understand if he hadn't - well that's all very easy to say when you're sitting in a boardroom in London, which doesn't have armed terrorists patrolling up and down outside! Perhaps they asked him to mute his phone so the gunshots didn't interrupt the meeting?

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  • I agree

    I'm not surprised Sebastian - I'm sceptical about the claim he was 'barricaded in his room'. More likely he was orchestrating events from the terrorism command centre, while getting in a few more FFW name-drops on BBC News 24.

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  • Hear hear...

    ...to Anonymous's Be Careful comment posted on at 09:26am on 1 December 2008. How one surviving individual conducts himself after such an ordeal and whether or not that is appropriate is largely irrelevant in comparison to the 180 individuals who didn't make it.

    Rightly or wrongly, Mr Abell is (in)famous, but his name is not and should not be the only one that people remember from last week's events.

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  • Field Fisher lawyers freed from Mumbai terror

    What a lot of pompous, overbearing, self-righteous , cynical bigots you all are. Did none of you actually listen to what this man Abell said?

    After enduring what must have been unthinkable fear and uncertainty for some 40 hours ,the first thing he did when he was interviewed by the press was to thank his rescuers, praise all of the heroes involved in this tragedy and say gracious things about the Indian people . Is that the first thing that you would have done after such an ordeal?

    This man showed amazing coolness, modesty and courage. He took incredible risks to let us all understand exactly what was going on in that hell hole. Others who did the same were hunted down and mrdered for their troubles. Would any of you have the guts to do what he did? I doubt it!

    So what if he mentioned the name of the firm he works for when he was interviewed. Is that a crime? Does it detract from his bravery ? You can all sit there and snipe away at him but you do not even have the courage to put your name to your barbed and poisonous comments. Sounds to me as though some of you have got a grudge against Mr Abell for some reason and you are cynical enough to use this tragedy to try and get one over on him. Shame on you. Mr Abell did us all a favour reporting on the events in Mumbai as they unfolded. I think that we should all be proud that one of our fellow professionals has the guts to get up and do something when the chips are down. You should also be ashamed of yourselves. Why don't you all get a life?

    Rather than all this bitching why don't you start trying to understand the enormity of what happened in Mumbai and think what you can do to help those bereaved and orphaned by it ?

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  • Mumbai attack

    I am not a lawyer. But I am someone who had to suffer the anxiety of having a near and dear one trapped in the Oberoi hotel last week. I have been shown this article and the attached blog by my housemate who is a lawyer. I cannot believe you guys. Your comments say an awful lot more about yourselves than they do about Mark Abell. I personally found his understated stoic courage a source of great comfort and inspiration at a time when I was very worried for the safety of my near and dear one who was stuck in the Oberoi and was unable to contact me or the rest of our family. To my mind and to that of the whole of my family - and I suspect the vast majority of people - Mr Abell demonstarted great courage and does not deserve to be subjected to your cruel and unjustified comments . So what if he said where he worked? Do you think that it registered with anyone other than a few sad individuals in the legal profession?

    If you devoted half as much time to doing something useful to help the victims of the Mumbai massacre as you do to this bitching the world might be a better place!

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