'Sorry to interrupt, I've curated a new workplace experience for Howard. It's in prison!'
A former Latham & Watkins employee has been banned from law after being convicted of making and owning paedophilic images.
Howard Ellis pleaded guilty in April last year to three counts of making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child, one count of possessing a prohibited image of a child, and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images. He was sentenced to ten months in prison and placed under a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Ellis had worked at the US firm's London office for 10 years, where his role as a ‘Workplace Experience Manager’ involved providing support across reception, facilities, hosting, travel, and in emergencies.
He was sacked by Latham when it found out he had been charged and convicted.
The firm also alerted the SRA, which has now agreed with Ellis that it is appropriate to impose a section 43 order banning firms and regulated lawyers from working with the non-solicitor, given the nature of his offences.
Prison time and a 10-year order “shows the seriousness of the conviction”, said the SRA, while his role within the facilities department necessitated contact with employees at all levels of seniority across the organisation and potential contact with clients.
Taken together with his access to Latham’s IT systems, the SRA said “the nature and seriousness” of his four convictions for sexual offences relating to children “presents a risk of future damage or harm towards clients of any firm Mr Ellis may go on to work for, employees of any such firm, and the firm itself”.
Two years ago, a banking solicitor who previously worked at Latham & Watkins, as well as at Coutts, K&L Gates, and Goodwin Proctor, admitted possessing thousands of child sex abuse images and videos of children. In 2020 the former head of business development at Plexus was sentenced to four years in prison after he was caught in possession of thousands of child sex abuse images, and last year a barrister was disbarred after being convicted of child sex abuse offences.