Viberts partners rail against dishonesty charge

The Head of the Jersey Bar, the Bâtonnier, has made a representation to the Royal Court alleging that two Viberts partners, including the firm's managing partner and assistant Bâtonnier Rose Colley, misused client funds

Viberts is the first law firm to contest a disciplinary action brought against it by the Bâtonnier and it is also believed to be the first time that the Bâtonnier has undertaken disciplinary proceedings against his assistant.

“This representation is based upon a malicious statement made more than two years ago by a former employee, who had a grudge against the firm,” said Colley and partner David Le Quesne in a statement.

The Bâtonnier's action follows a police investigation of fraud, which recommended that no further action be taken, as well as a former investigation by the Bâtonnier, which concluded that the pair had unintentionally breached the Jersey Law Society's code of conduct.

“The really shocking part of the Bâtonnier's case is the allegation that we behaved dishonestly,” continued the Viberts partners' statement. “If we have broken one of the rules (and we say we have not) that is one thing; mistakes do happen. It is quite another thing to be accused of dishonesty – that means we intended to do wrong. With the full support of our partners at Viberts we will continue to contest any suggestion of dishonesty.”