Farrer & Co's head of Reputation Management is to be prosecuted by the SRA for allegedly suggesting to News International that it should snoop on other lawyers.
In 2011 prominent Farrers partner Julian Pike was subject to a scathing report on Newsnight suggesting that he may have advised News International to place two lawyers acting for phone hacking victims under surveillance, in order to obtain details on their personal lives.
Pike was subject to unwelcome publicity after admitting that he knew that his client had misled Parliament. And a spokesman for the SRA said at the time that, hypothetically of course, covert filming of opposing lawyers "could be seen to breach Principle 2, which compels solicitors to act with integrity".
And now, a mere five years later, it has indeed decided to prosecute Pike, with the SDT certifying that there is "a case to answer".
In the course of advising the Murdoch machine on its defence of civil proceedings for phone hacking, alleges the SRA, Pike "gave advice to the effect that his client should undertake or commission surveillance of a solicitor and employed barrister acting for the claimants". He is also accused of having "commissioned a private investigator to undertake investigations" into the lawyers "without proper justification for doing so".
Pike's hearing is expected next month. Read more next Friday.