Categories:Employment,UK

Quadrant Chambers chief: we hired O'Riordan on his reputation, not his CV

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  • Well I guess that's fine as long as you don't mind looking stupid after the truth comes out.

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  • The anonymous comment at 9.29 ignores the fact that O'Riordan had a successful practice and loyal client-following that was, arguably, more important than his paper qualifications. That is not to excuse his lies: unfortunately, many people are taken in by fraudsters (and many were in this case). However, despite not having the qualifications he claimed, he obviously seemed convincing to an awful lot of people who did have those qualifications (or similar ones). The fraud was in fact discovered by chance when he applied to another commercial set of Chambers where (completely coincidentally) he claimed to have been awarded the same scholarship in the same year as one of the interviewers. The man cannot be well; his career is over (despite "only" a 3 year suspension); and he has been publicly humiliated. Time for a little human compassion now too maybe?

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  • Anonymous 10:04, what a load of tosh. I can only assume that you are O’Riordan or know O’Riordan well. O'Riordan took a shot, has probably made millions directly arising out of his deceit, and now has to pay. This is no different to a potential trainee/pupil claiming they got a first, when they got a 2:2, in order to beat thousands of other better qualified applicants. The fact that he was a good lawyer is irrelevant.

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  • 9.29: The Bar works on trust. That's a feature, not a bug.

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  • Evidently Quadrant felt intense pressure make some statement; that it made this form of ill judged statement, will, one feels sure, be something it comes to regret. Barristers at Quadrant are registered to accept public access instructions (some). All lawyers have a duty to the court and the very essence of the public's trust in them rests on their personal integrity first above any market 'reputation.' In no way at all does this statement recognise the enormous dishonesty, over decades, this man showed his clients and colleagues. Why lie about one's entire CV if you feel so sure you'll would be hired for your market reputation?

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  • 10:35: Do you think that's how those who instructed him would see it?

    10:04: I don't disagree about the personal tragedy that has occurred here - but some basic due diligence would surely have prevented things getting to this point? You don't need vast resources to do these kinds of checks.

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  • It took me about 3.4 seconds to establish he had never won the Eldon Scholarship.

    http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/eldon_scholars.php

    Shameful abrogation of responsibility by Quadrant, playing the poor mouth by claiming a lack of HR. I wonder if they are as cavalier when checking the CVs of prospective pupils?

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  • This is an abominable abuse of trust....imagine being treated by an imposter falsely claiming to be a qualified doctor!

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  • @Anonymous 2:38 You have missed the point entirely. You fail to appreciate that O'Riordan was a lawyer... His lies were about academic qualifications not professional accreditation.

    These cases are few and far between... In truth, I don't remember the last time anything like this happened and the reason that this has gained so much coverage is because how rare it is. The legal profession is not riddled with liars and 999 times out of 1000 a CV can be taken on trust.

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  • The Bar is full of Class and Academic snobbery (usually Oxbridge and Landed Gentry ), often masking limited legal ability.
    This poor chap obviously needed to beef up his academics to get in in the first place!
    the myth is that the Bar selects on ability!!!

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  • Gene Kelly: the point is, the only way you can know if CVs are reliable 999 times out of 1,000 is if you check them (but I suspect it's much more common than you think). Otherwise you are just setting yourself up for a fall.

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  • If a student did this and the BSB/inns found out before admission it would, I surmise, preclude admission. It goes to honesty and is also potentially a criminal offence. I am a bit surprised by the CEs casualness here.

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  • This is a brave announcement from Quadrant Chambers. O'Riordan wasn't hired on the basis of his academics since he was a senior hire. Senior hires everywhere are hired on the basis of their reputation in the market and the amount of work they can get in - even at the Bar. Only entrants and junior recruits are recruited on the basis of their academic qualifications. There is no suggestion that O'Riordan lied to get himself in the profession in the first place. He, rather bizarrely, lied once he was already established.

    I suspect many of the most critical commenters are themselves junior or students and so are somewhat unfairly critical of O'Riordan. Don't get me wrong - he behaved badly. But suspension not disbarrment is appropriate since he was qualified as a barrister and he didn't lie to get qualified. Speaking as a senior in-house lawyer I don't instruct anyone on the basis of academic qualifications. If I know them I instruct them on the basis of their work they've done for me in the past. If I don't know them I instruct them on the basis of their reputation in the market - which is built on work they've done, not their university.

    The truth is that the story means his career is for all intents and purposes over regardless of "only" being suspended.

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  • Seem to remember a case of another chap who lied about his qualifications, what was his name .. oh yes Archer I think. Do you really want to be represented by a lawyer who has to lie about himself.? If you cannot be trusted in the little things then also you cannot be trusted in the big things.

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  • The big print gives and the small print takes away?

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  • O'Riordan committed a criminal offence - C R I M I N A L. Not an error of judgment, not a 'what were you thinking' faux pas. Fraud by misrepresentation. I haven't read anywhere about a call to prosecute him for this, as others have been.

    Essentially it's counterfeit goods. If I buy a Hermes handbag, I want it to be Hermes, not George at Asda. Yes, the George bag is a perfectly competent handbag and fulfils its function, but I thought I was getting Hermes, and that's what I paid for. In those terms, wouldn't we all be straight down to Trading Standards to complain?

    Every survey confirms that CV fraud is much more widespread than people think - about a 1/3 of people admit to lying on their CV and the most common lie is about qualifications - simply because fraudsters are confident that people don't make checks. It's extremely easy to check qualifications with the issuing university, who are all keen to ensure that genuine graduates are not denied opportunities by liars. Many offer a simple online service for as little as £10 - some are totally free.

    A few people have mentioned integrity here. This is fundamental to the issue. Trust, reputation and honesty are worth everything. I'm sure Paul Hastings will end up counting the cost in multiples of billable hours from clients holding the George handbag.

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  • Jayne Rowley is bang on the money. And here's to genuine Hermes handbags.

    Perhaps we shall see Dennis/Tom (even his colleagues seem unsure) surface stacking the shelves at Asda? An honest days work is good for the soul; before I was humbled I erred, sayeth the good book.

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