Bar Council to probe Herbert Smith silk

Herbert Smith’s advocacy unit head Murray Rosen QC is facing a Bar Council disciplinary hearing over alleged conflicts of interest.

Press reports today (Monday 13 February) claim that two former clients have lodged a complaint against Rosen alleging that he was in the midst of negotations with Herbert Smith while acting against the firm on litigation in 2004, and was therefore conflicted.

Tom Crema and John Moreland-Lynn, directors of private equity firm Compere Associates, instructed Rosen on litigation against businessmen Keith Halsey and Andreas Heeschen.

In 2001 the four were involved in bidding for arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch, but Halsey and Heeschen later submitted a successful rival bid.

Crema and Moreland-Lynn sued Halsey and Heeschen for breach of fiduciary duty and misuse of confidentiality agreements and the case went to trial in 2004. Herbert Smith acted for Halsey and Heeschen in the litigation.

The disciplinary hearing is due to take place next month.

Herbert Smith and the Bar Council declined to comment, saying the matter was confidential.

Compere could not be reached for comment.