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Exclusive: Freshfields lawyer blasted for issuing threats in firm's name
20 January 2017
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A Freshfields lawyer has taken the brazen strategy of using the firm's name in a personal spat, which backfired when the Magic Circle firm took a dim view of the tactic.

The Freshfields lawyer, whom RollOnFriday has decided not to name but let's call him "Mr F", was trying to claim rental payments from "Mr Y" (also a lawyer, but at another firm), which were allegedly due to Mr F's mother. Mr F opted to use his Freshfields email account to send a statement of claim to Mr Y for the rent. He also wrote in correspondence that he would instruct local counsel via Freshfields' office in Dubai in order to commence action in the UAE, where Mr Y is based.

Mr Y promptly forwarded the emails to Freshfields and complained that Mr F had issued threats in the firm's name. 

  Freshfields made its displeasure known via the medium of a tie sign
 

The firm's response comprises a salutary lesson for associates tempted to leverage the power of their employer's email address for personal use. In an email seen by RollOnFriday, verified by a spokesman for the firm, Freshfields replied to Mr Y that,  "We take matters such as the one you have described very seriously. We do not condone this behavior by any Freshfields employee, and apologize for [Mr F's] unsanctioned actions; [Mr F] was not authorized to engage in the correspondence with you on behalf of the Firm (or otherwise using Firm email). We have taken appropriate steps to deal with this situation. You will not receive any further contact from our Firm regarding this matter."

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anonymous user
20/01/2017 08:52
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Why does this chap get to keep his anonymity but the person with the "hour and a half" tirade on the train get outed? Doesn't seem very fair to me.
anonymous user
20/01/2017 13:29
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Are you the aggrieved chap from the train?
Lydia
20/01/2017 13:55
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Everyone must remember this rule. Even 30 years ago it was always always an issue. You don't use the firm's name, notepaper etc without formal instructions, client file opened, permission of a partner etc. This needs to be hammered home to trainees and NQs too.
However let us not forget the main thing here - some lawyer has not paid this chap's mother - so is evading a debt. in Dubai you can go for prison for that. Reporting someone for professional conduct reasons because you want to avoid your legal obligations is below the belt and the bigger moral wrong here.
anonymous user
20/01/2017 15:11
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You don't know whether Mr Y actually owed Mr F's mother money. The article uses the word "allegedly" quite deliberately and quite properly.

And if I were Mr Y, I would have done exactly the same thing. Pretty straightforward rule of litigation... Don't set up easy goals for your opponent...
  

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