The DLA Piper partner who referred to women as troublesome "gash" in an email to a client is being hauled before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

In 2014 Nick West was involved in a charming email exchange with his client Richard Scudamore, CEO of the Premier League. In it West complains of the supposed unwanted attentions of an in-house lawyer - "have spent all day fending Edna off my graphite shaft. She is terribly relentless isn’t she?!” He also tells Scudamore to “save the cash in case you find some gash”. Ah, the benefits of a classical education*.

Scudamore's PA, a former law student, was appalled by the emails and leaked them to the press. But to the surprise of pretty much everyone DLA Piper stood by its man, arguing that "these were emails exchanged between friends and accessed without permission". Hmmm, maybe, but they were also emails sent from a partner to a client from his work account, and it's clearly not unusual for such correspondence to be read by a PA.


Insiders told RollOnFriday that West made so much money for the firm that he was pretty much untouchable. But DLA Piper's supine reaction clearly failed to impress everyone, as someone grassed West up to the authorities. Last October RoF revealed that the SRA was investigating whether the comments were appropriate, and yesterday it announced that West had a case to answer. He will be appear before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal at a date to be decided. The first case management conference will take place next month.

The SRA confirmed that the SDT has the power to strike West off, and a spokeswoman for DLA Piper said that the firm had no comment to make.

*Although it is unknown whether West has had any education at all. Because in a rare moment of modesty, DLA Piper has removed pretty much all his details from his online bio.
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 04 March 16 08:38

There is a touch of the sinister about someone intercepting private communications, then leaking them and splattering them over the press as if that person had broadcast their opinion to world. Think about the worst thing you've said or emailed to/about anyone and then imagine that being shown to everyone. Who's the git now?

Anonymous 04 March 16 09:41

Whilst in no way condoning his behaviour, I am not convinced this is the sort of thing the SDT should be delaing with. The SRA has powers to deal with matter in-house. Seems they just want to make an example out of Mr West to show the public that they actually do something and not just sit in their Cube tower firing paperclips from hand-crafted elastic band trebuchets

Anonymous 04 March 16 11:22

anonymous at 8.38 - the best advice a lawyer ever gave me was "Never write down anything you don't want used against you later." It's a useful rule for life.

Anonymous 04 March 16 13:37

Why has this taken two years to come to a head? Anyone would have thought this case was a total snatch for the SRA.

Anonymous 04 March 16 13:54

SRA hack 1: It says here that Slater & Gordon are haemorrhaging money at an alarming rate and there's a very real risk that at some point in the near future they may be trading insolvently, if they aren't already. They've got thousands of regulated staff, tens of thousands of clients and their books are messier than the floor of an Albanian delivery suite. Do you think we should, you know, do something?

SRA hack 2: Yes. I think we should convene a tribunal to analyse the contents of a privileged solicitor/client document.

Roll On Friday 04 March 16 15:30

If you write emails like from a work account to a client what do you expect? You'd have to be really really stupid to think that is a good idea. I don't think he should lose his right to practise but it needs to be made clear by the SDT that it is not on.

Perhaps make him personally pay say £30k to a feminism group and attend a weekend course on women's rights?

Roll On Friday 05 March 16 14:29

What a waste of f*cking time.. they have no business in getting involved in this sort of thing. It is a private communication that has nothing to do with his ability to practice law.

Roll On Friday 05 March 16 14:31

Good luck to Nick and DLA. I hope he tells them to get fucked. He probably won't, unfortunately, because it is easier to just grovel before the SDT and take a slap on the wrist. Tossers.

Anonymous 06 March 16 19:06

The bad press arising from this incident is likely to be sufficient punishment. It was mindless office banter.

Anonymous 07 March 16 13:32

Surprised that no one has "reached out" to Charlotte Proudman for her balanced view, or alternatively that she has released a response to a question no one asked

Roll On Friday 08 March 16 20:04

Well seen as Master cannot make an ‘official’ comment, Piper will take it on his tiny elf shoulders to make an ‘unofficial’ one:

What Mr West said was awful (though Piper isn’t sure what you Muggles mean by ‘gash’; the only ‘gashes’ that Piper is aware of are friction burns suffered by over enthusiastic Quidditch players). We are all terribly embarrassed by what he did, though we can assure all the other wizarding schools that Mr West has been severely punished for his actions, and suffers the ignominy of permanent detention from public life by the Headmaster of our illustrious school – Professor Dummblelevine.

The offending wizard has also lost all extra curricula privileges and continues to be under the strict observation of Professor Sandara Walliace the first female Country Managing Professor of Dills Lupsons Alltops school of legal magic, as well as having his graphite shaft, sorry sorry - I mean his wand of course, confiscated indefinitely…