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One of the biggest stories of the legal market last year received a modicum of closure today as disgraced former Hogan Lovells partner Christopher Grierson pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud at Southwark Crown Court (see story).
Grierson showed little emotion from behind the dock as he entered his pleas, but given that he confessed his crimes to his former partners at Hogan Lovells in May last year, paid back the stolen money - amounting to £1.27m - and made his intention to plead guilty known at an early date, there was little to catch him off guard at today’s proceedings.
The only possible snag for Grierson was that bail conditions were imposed to keep him in the country until the sentencing hearing on 3 May, despite pleas from his counsel to allow him to travel to France to wind up a bank account, dispose of a car and settle tax affairs stemming from his divorce.
Grierson’s counsel also told the court that the ex-partner suffered from a longstanding psychiatric illness, which he would pursue further in mitigation, but Judge John Price was unequivocal, saying that a prison sentence was inevitable.