A former lawyer of Kazakh mining company ENRC turned on his own client and effectively invited the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to launch a corruption investigation eight years ago out of personal greed, London’s High Court heard on Monday.
Opening a highly anticipated London High Court trial, Nathan Pillow, a lawyer for ENRC, alleged that former Dechert partner Neil Gerrard used “scaremongering” tactics on his client, set up unauthorised meetings with the SFO, and leaked confidential and privileged ENRC information when it suited him.
Pillow told the court that Gerrard, hired in 2010 to carry out an internal investigation into a minor overseas whistleblowing report, personally earned about $10 million by turning a small job into one so large that it employed more than 50 Dechert fee earners at one point.
“Mr Gerrard had a very direct piece of skin in this game,” Pillow said, alleging that if Gerrard encountered opposition within ENRC in his quest to expand his remit and earn fatter fees, he would seek to “impune and sideline” individuals.
Dechert and Gerrard dismiss the allegations as “an elaborate work of fiction” and say they stand by their work.
The SFO, which has faced stinging criticism over the collapse of a separate prosecution last month, rejects all claims against former senior staff as “hopeless”, according to court filings.
The original full article can be found at reuters.com