Fielding will return to UK to face client cash probe

The Lawrence Graham partner who has left the country amid allegations of financial wrongdoing says he will come back to the UK when asked to do so, and that he will not risk extradition.

Michael Fielding is understood to be suffering from a mental illness, and his lawyer Gillian Benning, a partner at Westminster firm Radcliffes, says he left the country on legal advice because of the pressure he was under.
Benning said: “He’ll come back when he’s asked to; he wouldn’t risk being extradited – he intends to come back. He just needed some time to get his thoughts together. He’s disturbed at the moment, if I can put it like that.”
Fielding, who is understood to be in the US, is alleged to have taken around £2m from his biggest client, London & Regional Properties.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has appointed a special manager to oversee his affairs before a hearing to have him declared bankrupt is held, scheduled for 9 July. A special manager will protect the position in the interim, and one barrister who specialises in the area says this solution is only used in an emergency.
Both the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and the Serious Fraud Office have been informed of the allegations and are awaiting the outcome of a Lawrence Graham investigation.
A spokesman for Lawrence Graham said that the investigation was still underway and until it was completed they could not comment on the amount of money involved or the clients which might be affected.
Fielding boasted two major clients, his other principal involvement being with Strategic Hotel Capital of Chicago, which he won in 1998. He has been advising it on its moves into Europe, and has done major hotel deals for the company in both Hamburg and Prague.