Top litigator quits Paul Hastings after falsifying degrees from Harvard and Oxford

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  • What an absolutely bizarre moment of madness - particularly as it sounds like he was trading under he less glamorous (presumably correct) CV while at Paul Hastings (not an angle picked up on in the RoF story). So all it would ever have taken, as presumably happened, was someone at his prospective new chambers looking at his existing profile. Even without that anomaly it's pretty crazy - Harvard's a big place, but Oxbridge colleges aren't, nor is the Bar. There always seem to be people knocking around from one's year - or purported year - in College, more's the pity.

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  • Proof if it were ever needed that a law firm partner's workload is easy and all bluff if this charlatan could pull something like this off.

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  • He ought to have been struck off. Its complete, unashamed dishonesty - no moment of madness, but a gross misrepresentation of one's training and a discredit to the barrister profession. People spend years earning these credentials, not for some joke to add them to his name having done no work for them whatsoever.

    No Oxford connection at all, never mind a Dphil from there. As for the supposed first class honours from UEA - that too, it seems, another total lie. Thankfully there has been an outing in the end, at least. If I was one of his clients at Paul Hastings, I would be dismayed beyond words.

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  • The Bar Directory today lists a Dr Dennis Thomas Delcaron O'Riordan, MA, D Phil(Oxon), said to be of Quadrant Chambers and Paul Hastings. Called October 1993. Could they be the same? A 20 year old, grave fantasy?

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  • "Anomaly" is the key word there. If that's the case, this (apparently very talented lawyer) was trading on his proper credentials until very late in the game - I wonder what went wrong here. Poor chap.

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  • that pesky internet again. its not like it used to be.

    someone recently found out i'd not actually been a supreme court judge (now that was embarassing)

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  • Madness. The irony, of course, is that he clearly proved that it is perfectly possible to be a successful City lawyer without the academic pedigree that academically high-achieving partners insist on in for their recruits. His on-paper credentials are false, but his achievements in the law are as real as anyone's.

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  • Too many others faking away!

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  • Surely the entire miserable tale here raises the essential qualities of professional trust and integrity clients expect from their lawyers - the very first qualities required for any lawyer who holds him/herself out as having standing.

    Without them, there can be no client lawyer relationship at all...

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  • Tragic. Why would you lie about going to Radley? Perhaps he was looking for sympathy?

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  • I am stunned to hear that. I worked with Dennis at Sumitomo, where he was very highly thought of and, coincidentally, where the Head of Legal at the time was forced to leave for the very same thing...

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  • Doesn't Paul Hastings do any DD at all?! All the big international firms hold up the recruitment process until every detail on a partner candidate's CV is checked.

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  • Surely the key point here was that he already had a successful career and was highly regarded. There was absolutely no need for him to make up additional credentials. If he felt there was a need, then more fool him, but this story may also reflect the ridiculous emphasis on collecting high-end qualifications that ultimately mean nothing in real life. Tony Abbott, our lamebrained PM in Australia, is a former Rhodes Scholar. That should tell you all you need to know.

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  • Did no one ask to see any credentials? It is easy to find out - about 5 minutes on the phone to the relevant institution. Most firms, especially US firms, have this down pat for grads and associate hires but seemingly once on the gilded throne of partnership all one has to do is say what you want and that will be fine, old sport.

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  • I don't want to enhance his misery but I had a client who applied for jobs in false names (he said to avoid race discrimination) as a labourer, worked for years doing this and then got done for obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. He got a year in prison and lost his two houses and all he had worked for (forcing his wife and kids on the dole). They also tried to get all his wages back under POCA - luckily he had nothing by then. How is this different?

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  • What this really is, is tragic. Tom is a very talented lawyer, and is also a decent person who treated others with respect - and there is a shortage of those. It is a shame that he felt the need to lie, presumably to get ahead some time in his career, and that apparently has now brought his career down, at least for a time. I and I believe the others who encountered him professionally hope he can find the strength to put this behind him and soldier on. Also that the gloating about this tragedy stops.

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  • Spare me all this "Tom is a great guy" crap. The fact of the matter is that he has behave dishonestly if not fraudulently in order to advance his career and to make money.

    If this man was not a highly educated high flying middle class type person then I am sure you beautiful magic circle people would have no sympathy for him at all.

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  • I endured years working as his secretary at one of the banks. It was constant mood swings and gossiping with Dennis, and chocolates after each mood swing to kiss and make up. Not an evil man though and I hope he's ok overseas now and can get a 9-5 job when the dust settles at charity shop or something like that. Thinking back, he never liked talking about his impressive qualifications - but folks just assumed it was out of modesty.

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  • I don't know why the 1st sentence has to declare that the guy was well liked. The partner told porkies & got away with it for years.
    What a waste of potential and talent! If the fellow had a successful career why then did he have to compromise his ethics and lie? Right, to get the job in the first place.

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  • I worked with him many years ago when he was in house counsel at a bank that shall remain nameless. He was a bright guy, very erudite, gave sound and pragmatic advice, and he was a generally entertaining and personable colleague although he could be occasionally moody. From what I remember he traded off his intellect rather than his qualifications. I liked him, but I now feel let down that he lied.

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