Linklaters in anti-sleaze drive as former Swedish partner is jailed

A former Lagerlöf & Leman (now Linklaters) partner has beeen sent to prison while one former and one current partner have been fined £150,000

The cases have forced Linklaters to study its policies regarding partners' outside business interests. “We've been looking into that since the Linklaters merger, and it's been discussed even more the past week,” said a Linklaters spokesperson.

Former Lagerlöf partner Mathias André was sentenced to two and a half years in jail after it was proved he had advised clients to avoid taxes while running his own practice alongside his work at Lagerlöf. The firm fired him when it discovered his other practice. “He was very good at hiding this business from us,” said the spokesperson.

In the other case, Christer Håkansson, a current Linklaters partner, and former partner Dag Werséhave been fined for activities relating to their status as directors of a Swedish sportswear company.

The dispute concerns the valuation of trademark rights, which Håkansson and Werséclaim balance the company's debts. The debts mean the company should have been liquidated. Håkansson and Werséclaim the rights are worth SKr14m (£989,000), while an independent expert puts the value at SKr1.8m (£127,000).

“This has nothing to do with their partnership at Lagerlöf. It's a private matter for them,” said the spokesperson. The pair will appeal.

Werséleft Lagerlöf in 2000 to work as a sole practitioner. “He worked with arbitration matters and there were too many conflicts of interests,” added the spokesperson.