Friends in high places

12.02
Sometimes the nice guys finish first. For its first ever GC, the Serious Fraud Office has hired criminal and fraud specialist Vivian Robinson QC – one of the Bar’s more genial white collar crime silks.

Friends in high places12.02

Sometimes the nice guys finish first. For its first ever general counsel, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has hired criminal and fraud specialist Vivian Robinson QC, who is by all accounts one of the more genial white collar crime silks at the Bar.

Robinson will take up his post in the spring, joining from barristers’ chambers QEB Hollis Whiteman. He was called to the Bar in 1967 and took silk in 1986.

One of his clerking staff described him as: “A very friendly guy. He’s very approachable and very willing to help out. He couldn’t be a nicer guy really.”

Vivian Robinson QC is one of the big names at QEB Hollis Whiteman, and it’s possible that his new role could mean a reduced workflow into the chambers. He was head of chambers for around six years before handing the management baton over to fellow criminal specialist Rebecca Poulet QC last year.

Robinson will have to cut his steady work stream from the General Medical Council (GMC), which he represents in disciplinary matters. And he can forget about acting for company directors again. Robinson represented a defendant in the Hatfield rail crash case.

But the chambers is not overly concerned. Now that Robinson is in a position to hand work out rather than bring it in to QEB Hollis Whiteman, the chambers is confident that it will be first in the queue for SFO litigation work. And there will likely be a glut of SFO litigation work related to the credit crunch.

A source at the chambers said: “It’s a bit of a blow and he’s not doing his sittings at the GMC any more. But it could eventually be very good for the chambers.”

The source said that the chambers has four eager barristers to take on Robinson’s practice, including Peter Clarke QC and senior junior Peter Finnegan.

And, with Robinson being such a nice guy, we’re sure he’ll oblige his former colleagues by throwing a bit of work their way.