Dodgy Solicitor Top Trumps

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US lawyer gets his chap out on a plane, and other tales of legal woe
29 June 2012
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Two impressive stories of dodgy solicitor-dom this week, one rather graphic and nasty, the other the usual fare of fraud, theft and imprisonment. Which means two new entries to the RollonFriday Dodgy Solicitor table - and two new cards for your Top Trumps collection.

On 14 February 2011, US lawyer Leonard Sawyer took a routine Continental Airlines flight from LA to Houston. In hindsight, alarm bells should have started ringing when Sawyer (who has a history of inappropriate buttock bad touch) refused to lower the armrest separating his seat from that of the woman next to him. During the flight, after bombarding his neighbour with personal questions, Sawyer raised his tray table to display, of all things, his erect genitalia. The victim, rapidly attempting to move seats, was asked by Sawyer if she'd like to "climb over him". Probably not, Leonard, even though it was Valentine's Day.

Sawyer was later observed coming out of the plane's bathroom with - guess what - his erect penis once again on display. When told by cabin crew that his behaviour was "inappropriate", Sawyer is alleged to have said "can't a guy have his fly undone?"

Sawyer pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd, indecent, or obscene acts, and will be sentenced at the end of August. He faces a maximum fine of $10,000, up to 180 days in jail, and is probably banned from Continental Airlines. And it's likely he won't be an active member of the California Bar much longer, either. Even if his member remains active.


In the UK, Andy Hodges, former CEO of two midlands firms was sentenced to 18 months inside last week for stealing almost £75,000. Whilst his crime doesn't exactly hit the heights required to challenge the top boys (and girl) in the annals of legal villainy, the alleged source of his criminal proceeds is impressively appalling.

Hodges was chief exec of Nottingham firm Fraser Brown until 2007. However between 2001 and 2005 he stole over £68,000. Sources have alleged that the cash came from a trust fund for an injured child, and that the crime was only discovered when the victim reached adulthood, and found his fund had been emptied. Meanwhile Hodges had become CEO of Birmingham-headquartered Challinors, and stole another £6,000 while he was there. It seems Hodges just can't resist a good cause as sources claim the money was taken from a charity donation made by the firm. Neither Fraser Brown nor Challinors responded to requests for comment.

Both Sawyer and Hodges are new entrants in RollOnFriday's exclusive table of legal shame. Well done to them.

 Matthew Kluger, ex Skadden
 USA  Insider trading
 12 years
 Martin Weisberg, ex Bakers
 USA  $3m money laundering, securities fraud
 expected 8 years
 Kevin Steele, ex Mishcon
 England  £18.4m conspiracy
 5 1/2 years
 Louise Martini, ex Williamson & Soden
 England  Theft of £1.7m
 5 years
 David O'Shea, ex O'Donovan
 Ireland  Theft of €779,000
 4 years
 Kenneth Hunt, ex Hunt Kidd
 England  Theft of £1m
 4 years
 Christopher Grierson, ex Lovells
 England  Theft of £1.3m
 3 years
 Barbara Gayton, ex Hunt Kidd
 England  Theft of £1m
 2 years
 NEW Andy Hodges, ex Fraser Brown/Challinors
 England  Theft of £70,000
 18 months
 Emma Rowsell, ex CC
 England  Theft of £63,000
 18 months
 Richard Simkin, ex Fulbright
 England  Theft of £100,000
 16 months
 Judie Groom, ex CC
 England  Theft of £23,000
 15 months
 NEW Leonard Sawyer
 USA  Lewd acts
 expected 180 days
 Partner who ran a red light, Hogan Lovells
 Dubai  Running a red light
 20 days
 Pissed trainee, Freshfields
 Dubai  Being pissed
 2 days

If you've spotted a dodgy lawyer, please send in the details using this anonymous form.



Feel free to enter your comments on the news story below, subject to our terms and conditions. Please note that comments are subject to moderation and so will not appear immediately.

Please keep it nice. Thanks.

anonymous user
29/06/2012 11:05
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Strictly speaking Andy Hodges is not a "Dodgy Solicitor" he is just someone who is dodgy that worked for a firm of solicitors.

Still deserves his place though.
anonymous user
29/06/2012 20:32
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HEH at the NEW badge
anonymous user
20/07/2012 20:57
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Should be called dodgy hodgy! what a nice man.
anonymous user
25/10/2012 16:25
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Hodges is not a solicitor but he should be out after Xmas 2012. Neither firm is dodgy, they just trusted him.
anonymous user
26/10/2012 14:10
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Guess those 50 counseling sessions for the previous bum grabbing really worked for Sawyer then!!