It was a year of triumph and tears for Kaim Todner managing director Karen Todner (scroll down for video interview) after she finally secured victory in Gary McKinnon’s high profile extradition case.
Ten years in the making, Todner’s unswerving dedication to her client’s cause was vindicated on 16 October when Home Secretary Theresa May blocked the ‘Pentagon Hacker’ McKinnon’s extradition to the US on human rights grounds.
“The Government had been vocal on this issue while in opposition so we’d spent the past two-and-a-half years putting forward representations and medical reports [McKinnon has Asperger’s Syndrome].
“I did just sit there and cry. Many things came to a head. I never had any doubt he wouldn’t go to the US, but that was because I knew he would have committed suicide rather than be extradited.”
Todner has several notable cases lined up for 2013, including representing Metropolitan Police officer and blogger James Patrick, who is facing disciplinary action for his articles, jailed drug dealer Ricky Percival in a major supergrass case, and Ryan Cleary in another hacker case.
Todner leads an extradition department which, with nine lawyers, is among the biggest in the country and specialises in US cases.
However, Todner says a wider challenge for her firm is to prepare for the Government’s consultation on crime tendering over the next 12 months, to ensure it gets a contract.
Todner says the importance of securing a contract cannot be underestimated for the future of the criminal firm.
She added: “A big factor is price, but the Legal Services Commission must also look at quality of service and training.”