Convicted lawyer apologises

A Knightsbridge solicitor convicted of assault after he forcibly removed a client from his offices has expressed his regret for his behaviour and the injuries he caused his client.

But Child & Child senior partner Allen Chubb has called for the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, which is to hear his case in May, not to strike him off for the incident, in which he threw Laura Harold, the wife of a wealthy client, out of his offices and later pinned her down on the floor until she agreed to leave quietly.

His trial in March last year received widespread national press coverage.

His victim, who suffered bruising and received psychiatric treatment after the incident, had taken out a private prosecution after the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

A jury found him guilty of assault and false imprisonment and he was ordered to pay his victim £1,000 compensation.

The court heard how he had thrown Harold out of his offices and down a short flight of steps after she refused to leave when he declined to hand over the title deeds of her and her husband's unmortgaged house.

When she returned to retrieve her fur coat he rugby-tackled her to the ground and pinned her down for five minutes, having called the police.

During the trial he maintained that he was entitled to use reasonable force and that Harold had run at him like a prop forward.

A former special constable, Chubb told The Lawyer last week that at the time he thought that he was capable of dealing with the situation, but he now regretted the decision, and believed he should have waited for the police.

He said he had received around 100 letters of support from fellow solicitors and clients following the case.

“It doesn't seem to have done any harm to my business,” he said. Commenting on the forthcoming disciplinary hearing, Chubb said: “I'm certainly not going to be exonerated, and I am very sorry for what happened.”