Former Hogan Lovells partner Christopher Grierson was today jailed for three years after pleading guilty to one of the most high-profile law firm frauds in UK history (see story)
Grierson began falsifying travel expenses at his firm in 2008 and carried on until 2011, stealing £1.27m in total. He can expect to service half of his three-year sentence before being released.
Defence silk Mark Ellison QC of QEB Hollis Whiteman had suggested to Judge John Price that a suspended sentence would be appropriate – a laughable suggestion for such a sophisticated fraud had it not been for what Price himself described as an “extremely impressive” mitigation plea by Ellison.
Grierson was painted as a manic depressive who sought refuge in work – the one area of his life where he was an out-and-out success. Legacy Lovells had even raised concerns about the effects of Grierson’s prodigious billing on his health, which Grierson brushed off (though he did see a psychiatrist linked to the firm).
In the end, a desperate desire to hide irresponsible and unsustainable spending – much of it on prostitutes and a Lebanese lover – from his family drove Grierson to steal from his firm, it was said.
With his marriage now ended and career and reputation in tatters, all that remains for Grierson is to serve his time and then pick up the pieces.