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Strategic hiring and Swepstone Walsh closure wins Kerman & Co top media client
Small West End practice Kerman & Co has won the Mirror Group and Indep-endent Newspapers as clients from the fallout of the now defunct media firm Swepstone Walsh. Kerman is a five-partner private client and corporate firm. It has attracted the high-profile work through former Swepstones partner Rhory Robertson, who has also worked in the legal department at the Mirror Group. Swepstones, a long-time main adviser to the Mirror, shut its doors in November 2001. It closed down after adverse decisions from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tri-bunal forced its insurance premium up too high. One partner was struck off the roll in October 2001, and both Robertson and partner Patrick Stewart were fined £5,000 on the same day. Kerman had no media litigation capability prior to Robertson joining the firm, but is now profiting through his connections. Robertson left Swepstones for Kerman in April 2001, but his practice is swelling after the collapse of his old firm. He said: "I left Swepstones with two assistants from there who are working with me at Kerman. My interest is now to expand the department to cope with the workload. I've set up the practice from scratch and had to start again from nothing." Kermans is now acting for the Mirror Group in the Ashworth Hospital case, one of its largest court battles to date. The Ashworth case, which started in late 2000, centres on moors murderer Ian Brady. The Mirror was ordered to disclose a source who gave access to Brady's medical records. The Mirror is appealing the decision, with Robertson handling its case.