Neil Gerrard, dream partner, proving that firms don't just have to be the victims of hacking.

Dechert has agreed to pay an aviation mogul £3m to settle his claim that it was involved in hacking his emails.

The firm could end up paying Farhad Azima a lot more since it’s also paying his “reasonable costs”, which the tycoon’s spokesperson put at $14m. 

It’s the latest bloodletting caused by rogue Dechert former partner Neil Gerrard, a former policemen and head of the firm’s white collar crime practice whose dodgy dealings have already cost it tens of millions of pounds.

On this occasion, Gerrard was instructed by a UAE sheikdom, Ras al-Khaimah (RAK), to investigate allegations the previous head of its Investment Authority was engaged in fraud.

Gerrard’s investigation allegedly led to the arrest and incarceration in a UAE prison of the Investment Authority's former legal advisor, Karem Al Sadeq, who claimed he was blindfolded, tied to a chair and interrogated by Gerrard.

Al Sadeq is now suing Dechert, Gerrard and two other former Dechert partners in a separate claim for human rights abuses amounting to torture. 

It was Azima’s public support for Al Sadeq that led RAK and Gerrard to turn their sights on him, claimed the mogul.

Their alleged plot involved paying hackers to steal emails from Azima's account which showed he may have worked with sanctioned Iranians, and then leaking them. 

Gerrard allegedly arranged for Dechert to 'discover' the incriminating emails on the web, enabling RAK to sue Azima for breaching a settlement agreement between the parties. 

The former Dechert partner allegedly ran a "perjury school" at a Swiss hotel where his team practised getting their stories straight about how they happened across the stolen emails.

Gerrard also instructed the hackers to search for information in the accounts of Al Sadeq's lawyers in the UK, but his plot backfired when Stokoe Partnership Solicitors realised they were being targeted by phishing emails and inserted tracking code into their responses which led them back to the hackers, according to Azima.

A spokesperson for Dechert said at the time that "The claim against the firm is denied and will be defended", but the settlement marks the end of that line.

This week a spokesperson told ROF, “The Dechert parties and Mr Azima have agreed terms without any admission of liability in order to bring about a commercial resolution to the proceedings brought by Mr Azima in the English High Court. The settlement is for £3 million plus Mr Azima's reasonable costs which have yet to be agreed between the parties or determined by the court”.

It only marks the end of Azima’s case against Dechert on this side of the Atlantic. A US case covering the fallout from the hacking is pending, which a spokesperson for Azima told ROF “seeks justice for the Dechert-led, years-long operation to ruin Mr Azima’s business and reputation in the US". 

Enboldened by proof that Gerrard represents a massive vulnerability for the firm, he continued, "The numerous illegal acts committed or directed by Dechert include obstructing multiple US proceedings, witness tampering, money laundering, and wire fraud”.

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Anonymous 09 February 24 09:24

Fee driven unethical behaviour.  Its endemic.  As long as the money keeps rolling in there is no oversight. 

Anonymous 09 February 24 09:45

This is A LOT more exciting than my day job. (Oh well, back to the VDR.)

Anonymous 09 February 24 10:11

"Gerrard’s investigation allegedly led to the arrest and incarceration in a UAE prison of the Investment Authority's former legal advisor, Karem Al Sadeq, who claimed he was blindfolded, tied to a chair and interrogated by Gerrard." - note that nobody is actually suggesting that this is illegal in the UAE, it's just background flavour to a complaint about Big G finding out he was in cahoots with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (which isn't denied, it's the manner of finding out that is the issue).

Question Man 09 February 24 11:30

@Blackfinch Investments Limited 

Laughing Len Cohen 09 February 24 12:12

He tied you to a kitchen chair,He broke your throne, and he cut your hair,And from your lips he drew the ‘I’m gonna sue ya’.

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN 10 February 24 08:48

Anonymous 11 February 24 11:24

Now this is a guy that would fit in perfectly at Womble Bind Dickinson. 

City 13 February 24 12:15

Anonymous 11 February 24 11:24 - and at Harneys.

3-ducks 15 February 24 08:37

What's the point of having thumbs-up on the comments if there's no corresponding thumbs-down? 

Did some snowflakes complain?

Do better.

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