Irwin Mitchell boss steps down from LSB after Private Eye complaint

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Readers' comments (15)

  • I feel this is a great tragedy for both Michael Napier personally, and for the LSB. Having worked with Mike, I know him to be extremely consciencious; he has been unsparing in his outreach efforts for the profession; whether for the Law Society, APIL, Irwin Mitchell, or the Civil Justice Council. His honorary QC was richly merited, and he will feel this blow to his pride deeply.
    However, the SRA's handling of the investigation, and the complaint made against Napier had demonstrable flaws, and the Court of Appeal's judgement must be conclusive; the SRA must re-investigate, and the details published.
    Mike's firm support for the rule of law has been a hallmark of his career. The public interest in justice being done, and being seen to be done, applies equally to him, as it does to the many hundreds of people he has helped.
    He has made the right decision in stepping down to contest the allegations made by Mr Ford before the SRA.
    I hope that he will abide by the spirit of the ruling in accepting there is a public interest in knowing about these claims. Conflicts of interest are serious; one only needs remember the O'Brien decision to know this. I hope he would have made the decision to resign with the grace that has characterised his career.
    If the investigation is upheld, like O'Brien, I know he will do the decent thing for the firm. Given O'Brien's rehabilitation is now complete and he accepted his own penalty in a manner befitting both himself and Freshfields, I hope that Napier- and Irwin Mitchell would take note of this precedent.
    I accept, however, that Mike may also want his day before the SRA, like O'Brien did, (although in O'Brien's case, before a compromise was reached). If so, (and I hope Mr Ford's complaint is groundless), I hope Mike will continue to remain as active for Irwin Mitchell and in support of pro bono as possible.
    That message- of over thirty-odd years of work for ordinary people- should not be hidden by one complaint- serious though this is.

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  • In my 25 years in practice I have never known any solicitor as passionatley committed to the interests of his clients as Mike Napier. I hope that one incident, arising from his generosity in acting for a client for no fee, will not further derail an illustious career. I wish him all the best.

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  • I am sure I am not the only colleague or ex-colleague of Mike's who would point to him as an example for all that's good and ethical in this sector.

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  • I first met Michael in 1972, when he was the leading light in setting up and providing his services - pro bono - for the Free Legal Information Service in Sheffield.
    Subsequently, I have been involved in a number of cases with Michael - several pro bono, including to the ECHR.
    I have never had cause to believe other than that he has acted with the highest ethical standards and integrity at all times. He has always been prepared to go the extra mile on behalf of those he has represented.
    Isn't there some awful irony that the challenges he is having to address arise from pro bono representation?

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  • I have known Mike for nearly ten years and consider him to be a lawyer and a man of the highest quality. Steadfast, loyal, thoughtful and brave...it is an enormous shame that this matter could not have had a more proportionate outcome...

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  • Michael Napier is an unremitting champion for true justice and a gentleman. He has delivered more benefit, to more people, than most realise - whilst remaining humble and never seeking glory for glory's sake. Truly a man of integrity, charm and generosity.

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  • Quite how this row over the publication of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s report escalated to the point that Michael Napier felt that he had no other option but to step down is a mystery?

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  • It is interesting that so many people are so supportive of such an apparent champion where his judicial peers found the conduct unsustainable and where he now considers it best to step down. To some it would seem obvious as to why he felt it necessary to step down given the various judicial desions from the oft maligned, particularly by Private Eye, Eady and his superiors. To others what a wonderful chap and pillar of integrity he is whose decision to walk is puzzling.

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  • Iago summed this saga up best in Othello...I think the line goes something like:
    "Reputation...oft gained without merit and lost without deserving"
    'nough said

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  • How can Michael Napier have been awarded a CBE in 2005 for his work promoting pro bono if he was under investigation and received a reprimand in the same month as being awarded it. Was his reprimand or the fact that he was being investigated ever disclosed???

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