Pressure on Hogan Lovells to inform Met of fraud

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  • I can't understand this. Normally criminal proceedings are dealt with first, and then any disciplinary proceedings follow later. This is why some of the SDT strikings off refer to XXXX "of HM Prison." It's hardly going to do the reputation of the profession any good, if errant bookeepers are relentlessly prosecuted, but the misdeeds of solicitors are not even reported to the police.

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  • Getting the police involved really would be to blow this little incident out of all proportion.

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  • So a CC accountant gets jailed for £30k, MPs jailed for 50k expense frauds, but a partner stealing £1m is a "little incident". Hardly fair is it?
    The real reason may well be because some of these claims were charged to clients and that would present HL with a little local difficulty in explaining, auditing, refunding etc.

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  • @ City Gent - £1 million is a 'little incident'? Are you a lawyer or perhaps a MP..?

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  • City Gent, are you taking the mick? He defrauded the Partnership of £1M. If the Police did nothing and I was a Partner, I would be launching a private prosecution.
    Going to the Police should be the second course of action, the SRA being the first.
    I do hope you're trying to be ironic

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  • How ironic that he practices in litigation, insolvency and fraud. Would he represent himself if he was taken to court?

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  • In what way would reporting the matter to COLP have preented disclosure of the resignation / dismissal?
    A very poor excuse to use for non reporting.
    What is a concern is that the SRA haven't reported this, or if they have that this hasn't been disclosed and that the disciplinary investigation is on hold while the police investigate.

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  • The man is despicable and should be in prison. Frankly if Hogan Lovells don't want to contact the police then they should be prosecuted too.
    This isn't going to go away, too many are simply too disgusted by this and the sheer moral hypocrisy.

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  • It's normally about this point that the man himself pops up on these comment boards to say "I worked with Chris and he's a good egg, and I think it is a great shame that people are being beastly about him"

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  • Hmmmmmm.................how would this look in the Daily Mail?
    FAT CAT LAWYERS LET MILLION POUND THEFT GO UNPUNISHED
    YES, IT WAS ONE OF THEIR OWN WHO DID IT

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  • I think that the bloke has probably had enough so its best that people leave him alone. Its an internal matter for HL and they should be able to deal with it as they want. He probably had no intention to permanently deprive ... etc.

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  • "He probably had no intention to permanently deprive ... etc."
    Exactly. Its not like he's some robber running off with a bag of swag. He's a gentleman and has generously decided to return the money in full.
    Frankly it would be a waste of police time to involve them at stage this when the matter has been settled to the satisfaction of all concerned and the politics of envy types on here ought to pipe down.

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  • I read lots of comments previously, that the man in question was very nice to work with and that this behaviour is entirely out of character. Being dismissed and publicly humiliated in this way is probably punishment enough for this man, who may well be suffering enough from whatever caused him to act this way in the first place.
    It's very easy to stand there on your moral high horse, not knowing what this man was going through at the time, and more to the point, what he is going through now.
    I do hope that none of you are ever in his shoes, feeling as low as he probably does and for people to show you as little sympathy as you are showing him.
    He is only human for God's sake.

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  • The codswallop continues. Would Anon @ 4:38 being saying the same thing about a secretary who stole from the firm (cf what happened to the Goldman Sachs seccy a few years ago)? Would (s)he be worrying about how low someone is feeling who nicked some food because their monthly benefit had run out? Fat chance.

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  • It embarrasses me to read some of the morally and intellectually bereft drivel on this page. It would be bad enough coming from a thieving clutch of bankers. From lawyers, it beggars belief.
    Someone who steals a million pounds is a thief, pure and simple. It's a while since I last prosecuted, but I recall that factors such as being highly educated, stealing from your friends etc. make the matter worse, not better.
    And please don't denounce me as some jealous leftie. I vote Tory and that's one of the reasons why I hate dishonesty.

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  • These comments are hilarious:
    @ City Gent | 23-May-2011 11:44 am: "Getting the police involved really would be to blow this little incident out of all proportion". Yeah, stealing 1 million is not really a big deal is it - let the police just focus on some 16 year old stealing a bra from Top Shop or a pack of crisps from WH Smith. This is actually one of the largest thefts of the year and the police should look at it. More so that he was in a position of trust. So what if he paid it back - that makes it alright then does it - would he have given it back if he didn't get caught?
    @Anonymous | 23-May-2011 4:38 pm: "Being dismissed and publicly humiliated in this way is probably punishment enough for this man, who may well be suffering enough from whatever caused him to act this way in the first place". What caused him to act in this way is that he is a thief. So if Hitler was "publicly humiliated" and had some life issues to deal with, that would be enough punishment too then? Also: "It's very easy to stand there on your moral high horse, not knowing what this man was going through at the time, and more to the point, what he is going through now". Err "moral high horse" - you mean having a distaste for thieves - whether you wear a suite or a balaclava, if you steal 1 million you should be incarcerated for at least a decade. So if he was having a hard time that’s ok then is it - let him off? So you would let all the burglars and muggers off too would you because they could argue they were going through a hard time no doubt! And "what he is going through now" - If he is upset then good - that is part of the justice system - you get caught - you suffer the consequences.
    The police will do nothing and neither will the SRA though - City lawyers have still not been investigated and struck off for advising on financial products that contributed the financial crisis yet (and then being allowed to advise on the restructuring and insolvency too). This guy will probably land a job in the FSA next week as a special advisor on financial crime.

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  • Why not the police? Easy - HL doesn't want the police mucking about in the books and records.

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  • I call 'Godwin' on this thread.

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  • He should have got a 'super'-injunction to prevent this all coming out....

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  • The Police or the SRA may do nothing, but he should be also referred to Companies House for an investigation as to whether he is fit to hold Corporate Office again.
    To the person who posted a comment to the effect that "he's only human", what are you on? I'm also "only human" and would never blag a million from my mates ... or anyone for that matter. If he was such a nice bloke / chap / egg ... he wouldn't have STOLEN from them. SIMPLES.

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  • Although he has been rightly dismissed by HL, he still holds a practising certificate (as I understand it) and can therefore hold clients' monies; why?
    He has admitted his wrong and is paying the money back, so what more proof does the SRA need to strike him off; does he really need to be taken to the SDT to find out the obvious!
    I thought part of the SRA's remit was to ensure client's were not put in harm's way, so why doesn't it act now with the clear evidence it has; just because it wasn't client monies he stole doesn't make the offence any less serious?

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  • Sorry but giving the money back does not exonerate you from culpability and charges. Especially when you only did so after you had been caught. I assume most of the commenters on here are lawyers but even if not I think most people would know that already. Your average thief cant escape charges by offering to give your TV back and neither should a partner in a law firm, particularly one who stole more than 10 regular thieves would be able to manage.

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  • 'the regulator has since launched an investigation into the false expenses claims, which are mainly for air fares'...
    In order to accumulate claims of 1 mill over four years, he must have been submitting weekly claims for travel to far-flung destinations; why did nobody then notice that he was, presumably, around more often than not?

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  • Anonymous 4.36am you have probably hit the nail on the head. The fact that Christopher Grierson had been filling his pockets for 4 years before his deception came to light suggests that the amounts were not so extraordinary as to be noticably dodgy and worthy of investigation or he would have been hoofed out sooner. Yet only six months after the US merger (the fraudulent claims run to December 2010) the fraud was picked up as a result, we must assume, of more searching Hogan-led internal audit procedures than under Lovells and he is out on his ear with the possibility of more to follow. After all there isn't only one MP in prison.

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  • From memory one can get a 1st class return to NYC for about £3k.

    Now since he was claiming about £1500 per day, if it's only flights and hotels then that suggests that he never collected his bags at T5.

    I really can't see how it's plausible that HoLo can credibly claim to have had effective risk management and corporate governance proceedures in place so as to comply with Rule 5 when something like this can have gone on for so long.

    For goodness sake, aren't we supposed to be talking about a firm with acute commercial acumen?

    Who was signing off his expenses?
    How was he able to have funds to the travel company go from the firm but out to his personal account?

    I find it hard to accept at face value that no other party was involved.

    I think even Freddy Patel might be up to this PM.

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  • Most associates at HL think the police should be involved, but as usual, they are protecting their own....

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  • If anyone who is well read on STD judgements, they will find that solicitors have been struck or at least suspended for several years for claiming fraudulent expenses from clients disguised as disbursements and even for suspected overcharging. This is SRA protecting a magic circle firm, and behind the scenes vetoing a police investigation and subsequent prosecution under their 'Memorendum of Understanding' with the police. So much for separation of power

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