Carey Olsen on the rack for ‘overcharging’ police

Partners at Jersey firm Carey Olsen face a government-backed investigation into alleged overbilling of up to 300 per cent.

Politicians at the parish of St Helier will today (15 December) vote on a motion calling for the creation of a committee of inquiry into the alleged overcharging. Carey Olsen came into being when Olsens merged with Carey Langlois in March 2003.

The committee is expected to comprise members of the public with powers to demand information from Olsens.

Three Jersey senators (politicians resident in St Helier who are members of the island’s central parliament) and six St Helier deputies (equivalent to councillors in the St Helier parish) have signed the petition, while Chris Lakeman, a partner at Carey Olsen and a Jersey senator living in St Helier, has not. A non-politician representing the interests of St Helier residents drew up the petition.

The matter in which the firm is accused of overbilling relates to a case in which Olsens defended two former police officers. An independent analysis by independent costs expert Jim Diamond states that Olsens should have billed between £50,000 and £75,000. It actually billed £150,000.

A Carey Olsen spokesman told The Lawyer: “Negotiations have been taking place, which I believe have been quite amicable. They’re subject to confidentiality. This petition thus comes as a surprise, especially in light of these negotiations.”