Hogan Lovells dismisses senior litigator over £1m of false expenses

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  • "Presumption of innocence, anyone?"
    General query, but are you still presumed innocent when you've already admitted stealing stuff?

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  • @mary. Yes, it is theft. If true, he's stolen from his fellow partners...

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  • I assume that he will be re-paying the £1m + interest..

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  • It is a horribly sad situation for all concerned, and a real shame that a long, admirable career should be remembered primarily by the way it ended.
    While no one condones the wrongdoing, and the firm has acted swiftly to make that clear, perhaps the human emotion of those who know Christopher shouldn't be so quickly deprecated - less still where the full extent of the commentator's information comprises only the contents of this article.

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  • "Presumption of innocence anyone?" I wonder what planet some of the above live on. He has agreed to pay HoLo one million pounds in 14 days and leave the firm pronto - nothing odd there, then, as he's innocent. I don't hold with the "public schoolboys sticking together" nonsense, but do the "he's a real gent, helps old ladies across the road, kind to cats" crew think they would have the same view if it was their own bank account which had been raided?

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  • Hats off to H-L: so far textbook handling of a deeply smelly affair. Chain of reporting seems spot on too. SRA, then Partnership, then firm-wide, then media. Front foot, take the hit, avoid sensationalism whilst displaying seemingly genuine sadness. Provided there's nothing else to add to the scandal, you'll take a short term reputational knock. Grierson however may not be so lucky.

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  • Since when has the basis of proof of a theft been whether one is a Good Chap or not..........(I probably do not want to know the answer to that - in case the answer is "Always has been, always will be - who do you know?")

    For me as a non lawyer the above postings are hilarious to read as a body of work on the question of guilt and punishment. Im sure some of the postings must be tongue in cheek old boys network style.....these can't all be real people?

    * Employee in a position of trust (breach of fiduciary duty anyone?) takes advantage of that trust.
    * Claims an extra £1Million in expenses not due - just remember this is an EXTRA £1Million on top of what was approved)
    * Most of these expenses WILL have been billed to Clients (Will they get a rebate?)
    * Caught by his employer
    * Admits guilt
    * Repays what he was caught for.

    I will accept that he may have a professional demeanour, a friendly character and be an effective lawyer but that makes the offence doubly bad doesn't it ?

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  • I read so much commentary of how Christopher Grierson was a consummate professional and that he was a gentleman. The fact remains he stole funds from his employer who made him so wealthy and during a four year period spanning the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    During which partners, associates and support staff were being let go and having to find employment in a market that was almost illiquid. This is appalling and inexcusable and he deserves to have the book thrown at him. No one is above the law thus to all lawyers who think they are, climb down from your ivory towers and come back to earth.

    Whilst it may not have been greed that was his motivation, the temptation could have been spawned from the jaded mentality of joining the other side (i.e. the offending fraudsters for which he advised his clients to mitigate against).

    What’s even more intriguing is that Hogan Lovells is a small company compared to the likes of the RBS (> 140,000 employees and a Plc) where one would be forgiven for such behaviour to lose itself in the ether of large corporate machinations. However, for a firm like Hogan Lovells, to not identify this criminal behaviour for almost half a decade leads one to assume and rightfully, what management controls are in place? If any, to prevent or at worst, stop prematurely this criminal misconduct.

    This sends a stern message to the legal establishment, be warned, you are not so brilliant and that your own kind will turn against you even after you’ve enriched them beyond their dreams.

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  • To me it sounds like Christopher has posted anonymously several on times on here for damage/reputation limitation. Does anyone really think so many people would post on here expressing what a nice guy Chris was?

    Don't fool us, Chris.

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  • Look, if we're talking about £1200 per day he was at work that was bent, how much was he genuinely claiming on top?

    Were there receipts, if not COAB, if there were we're talking forgery, obtaining a money transfer by deception and fraud.

    If this bloke isn't in custody answering questions under caution then there's a real problem.

    If I were a client of HL I'd be asking questions of their risk management and internal controls . . . . There's got to be more than one culpable party here.

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