Pressure on Hogan Lovells to inform Met of fraud

Pressure is mounting on Hogan Lovells to ask police to investigate senior litigator Christopher Grierson, who was dismissed from the partnership for claiming more than £1m in false expenses over four years.

The 59-year-old worked at legacy firm Lovells for more than 30 years. He was dismissed from Hogan Lovells on 11 May. The firm reported the incident to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on 13 May and the regulator has since launched an investigation into the false expenses claims, which are mainly for air fares, as well as the firm’s expenses procedures (see story).

But the wider legal community is questioning why the firm has not brought criminal proceedings.

A former Lovells partner said: “They seem more interested in their own internal workings than the fact someone has committed fraud. It’s still theft from the firm and it’s still a crime.”

Hogan Lovells co-chief executive David Harris did not rule out police involvement in the future, but said involving them at the outset would have put the SRA investigation on ice and prevented the firm from communicating the facts to partners.

He said: “Once you go to the police there are limitations on what you can say. We put a huge emphasis on openness and didn’t want people to learn about this from elsewhere.”

Grierson is best known for having advised BCCI liquidator Deloitte & Touche for over a decade. His recent cases include advising Russian consortium AAR on its dispute on the TNK-BP energy venture in Russia.