Mishcon de Reya forced to return client files to Healys

Mishcon de Reya has been ordered by the High Court to return a large number of missing client files to Healys, a small City-based practice with an office in Brighton. The files were removed by salaried partner Stephen Jackson, who left Healys to join Mishcon at the end of August.

According to Mishcon, Jackson was offered a position as an assistant on the condition that any clients he brings with him authorised the firm to act for them in the future. A spokesperson at Mishcon said that as soon as the firm found out about Jackson's behaviour, he was dismissed.

The Lawyer understands that Jackson, who specialises in family law, entered Healys' London office without permission a day after he left the firm and took several files with him.

As soon as Healys discovered that the files were missing, it sent an urgent letter and fax to Jackson at Mishcon seeking immediate details of the files that were known to be missing.

Jackson replied to Healys by letter, in which he simply said that he had not taken any files relating to clients who owed money to Healys.

After two further demands, Jackson returned only 12 files. Healys responded and said that, despite two deadlines, Jackson had failed to return property belonging to the firm and added that it was endeavouring to look for additional missing files. Later that same day Healys contacted Mishcon and said that the files returned was by no means a complete list of those removed. According to Healys, a total of 75 files were missing.

Following Mishcon's and Jackson's failure to return the outstanding files, Healys successfully won an injunction ordering both parties to return all files immediately.