The Asia Managing Partner of offshore firm Harneys has a conviction for professional misconduct, RollOnFriday can reveal.
Ian Mann, a barrister, was appointed as the Asia Managing Partner of Harneys in September 2018. He is also the head of its litigation, insolvency and restructuring practice.
Although he is based in Hong Kong, Mann is not a member of the Hong Kong bar. However, he is a practising barrister in the British Virgin Islands. He is also a member of the bar in England and Wales and in New York, although he is not practising in either jurisdiction.
Before he stopped practising in England and Wales, he was found guilty of professional misconduct while a barrister at 13 King's Bench Walk in Inner Temple. According to a judgment seen by RollOnFriday, in 2010 a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Bar Council ruled that Mann "engaged in conduct which was dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister" and/or was "likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession" or otherwise bring it into disrepute.
Mann, the tribunal said, invoiced a client for two appearances at court, one on 2 October 2007 and one on 12 October 2007. But he actually only appeared once. Mann had not turned up to the first hearing at all, and the second hearing was only necessary because of his failure to attend the first.
The invoice issued to the client then falsely suggested that Mann's charge for the first appearance only encompassed preparation time. Whereas the fee charged "in fact related both to preparation and to the hearing itself", said the tribunal.
RollOnFriday understands Mann was fined £1,000. He left 13 King's Bench Walk, and the UK, before the judgment was handed down, and had already gained admission to the BVI bar in 2008. He joined Harneys a year later.
Peter Tarn, Harneys' Chairman, said Mann's issue "took place in 2007/8 and before he joined Harneys". Tarn said that although the Tribunal criticised Mann's conduct, it specified that it was "not persuaded, so as to be sure of it", that Mann's actions were dishonest. "I would suggest that anyone having regard to the size of the fine", added Tarn, "would naturally conclude that there could not have been a finding of dishonesty".
In the years since, Mann has built a reputation for peerless management gobbledegook with pro-Harneys maxims such as, "A new cultural energy has emerged and built our capacity to levels of unprecedented resilience". He is also rumoured to refer to his Hong Kong group as 'Team Dangerous'.