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. 


len

Everyone's got something in their past they'd rather forget.

dave

Everyone.


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'.

Tip Off ROF

Related News

This Week’s News

Comments

Cult survivor 18 October 19 08:17

I have seen a copy of the professional misconduct finding and it clearly states that Chairman Mann was guilty of professional misconduct being dishonest behaviour or conduct that would bring the profession into disrepute etc. Nowhere does it suggest that the Bar Council was uncertain as to whether it was dishonest as Pete Tarn suggests - “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.”  So my question is whether there is a decision giving reasons and, if so, why doesn’t Pete Tarn provides it to ROF to clear this whole thing up. 

Anon 18 October 19 08:47

I have seen the judgment. It is a publically available  document. The words quoted by Peter Tarn do not appear in it.

The judgment is clear that Mann was convicted of dishonesty.

(Indeed, dishonesty was the only charge and conviction open to the Tribunal on the facts: had Mann caused the invoice to be created by mistake, he would not have been guilty of misconduct of any  kind, let alone dishonesty.)

Offshore 18 October 19 08:49

The reasons specifically refer to dishonest conduct.    Harneys appear to have their own standards of dishonest conduct, obviously. 

Anonymous 18 October 19 09:16

another gem published by ALB, which asserts it provides "authoritative and unbiased insights":

“The Dalai Lama once famously said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” he (Ian) adds. “It’s a different way of looking at litigation and is what I teach all my young Harneys associates. The fame and profits will come to you as a lawyer, with patience, if your starting point is pure. Genuine mindful compassion for clients’ needs also means you are more likely to win your litigation disputes in court.”

https://www.legalbusinessonline.com/features/offshore-client-choice-list-2018/75733

I would love to know how Ian thinks double billing your client for a hearing you never attended constitutes “genuine mindful compassion for clients’ needs”...

l am pretty sure clients’ needs include turning up to hearings on their behalf. 

 

Anonymous 18 October 19 09:17

So clearly Harneys knew this was out there. And are now trying to fudge what it says. Appalling. 

Anon 18 October 19 10:21

Presumably, this matter should have been the subject of disclosure to the respective Bars (non-practicing or not), prior to any application for admission or remaining on a register. With such information, it is difficult to understand how anyone could have been admitted or allowed to remain on the same. There needs to be an investigation into these matters and that will concern both Harneys and Mr. Mann.

Anonymous 18 October 19 10:57

This was 12 years ago. People make mistakes. He was probably a junior lawyer at the time and no doubt regrets it. Let’s move on and give people a break. 

Anonymous 18 October 19 11:00

Given that it was 12 years ago and was a fairly minor matter it doesn't seem that important now.

Anonymous 18 October 19 11:14

“Given that it was 12 years ago and was a fairly minor matter it doesn't seem that important now”

Pete Tarn is that you?!

Anonymous 18 October 19 11:15

“This was 12 years ago. People make mistakes. He was probably a junior lawyer at the time and no doubt regrets it. Let’s move on and give people a break”

Errrr that’s not a mistake. A mistake would not be dishonest. 

Anon 18 October 19 11:27

Dishonesty is not minor. It is very serious. Especially when it involves a professional. Lawyers are meant to have integrity.

Another Cult Survivor 18 October 19 11:41

Dishonesty is not “minor” and questions have always been raised about how he was admitted in other jurisdictions/ registered as a foreign lawyer in Hong Kong in the circumstances.  From the comments above, it is clear that Mann’s minions are being “encouraged” to post.  Probably from their personal phones, as Harneys has blocked ROF apparently...

Survivor 18 October 19 12:34

This guy is well known offshore and in HK.  Harneys know full well what he is like, but they have been happy to coin it on the back of his unctuous marketing spiel, which although utterly repellent to his fellow practitioners, somehow seems to charm the Chinese (who love the fawning bullshit until they are billed for it).  You can ask any of the leading BVI litigators about him - they all have stories, often backed up with correspondence and sometimes judgments to illustrate them.  However they don't complain too loudly because in truth he is actually good for business - minor issues such as "client not having a cause of action" are often not a deterrent to Harneys HK issuing proceedings.

Anonymous 18 October 19 13:18

Always fully to be so blinded by your own arguments that you assume anyone disagreeing must be Pete Tarn or 'Mann's minions'. This was a minor matter which took place years ago - to suggest he should be prevented from practicing or punished in some way for it now is to lose perspective.

Realist 18 October 19 13:58

If you think a dishonesty conviction is a minor matter, you are lying or deluded. In either case, your view is worthless.

Anonymous 18 October 19 15:09

“by horneys standards, that's not that bad.”

I suspect that this was not an accidental slip and those who know Harneys (or Horneys) can identify the issue with sleaze, ahem, I mean ease.  

Anonymous 18 October 19 15:12

Realist, if you can't maintain a perspective or differentiate between different degrees of dishonesty then you are deluded. It is dishonest to accuse someone of lying just because their opinion is different to yours. In any case, your view is laughable and of limited relevance.

Offshore Lawyer 18 October 19 15:27

In the posts defending chairman Mann’s behaviour, the dishonesty conviction is consistently described as a “minor matter”.  Either all the posts have been written by the same person (hmmm, who might that be?) or Harneys’ propaganda machine has gone into overdrive... A dishonesty conviction will not become a “minor matter” no matter how many times it is described as such.

Anonymous 18 October 19 15:36

Errr, think 10.57 was saying his mistake was to dishonest. Come on, it's not that hard.

Anon 18 October 19 16:15

“Realist, if you can't maintain a perspective or differentiate between different degrees of dishonesty then you are deluded. It is dishonest to accuse someone of lying just because their opinion is different to yours. In any case, your view is laughable and of limited relevance.”

Ah, so Mann was only slightly dishonest? That’s OK, then. Glad we have that sorted out.

Anonymous 18 October 19 16:17

Offshore lawyer - it's easy to slip into paranoia when you get so focused on your own argument that you start to imagine that anyone who disagrees with you must be the person your attacking or connected with them.

Common sense would view this as a minor matter, no matter how much people attempt to exaggerate its seriousness.

Puzzled 18 October 19 16:21

“Realist, if you can't maintain a perspective or differentiate between different degrees of dishonesty then you are deluded. It is dishonest to accuse someone of lying just because their opinion is different to yours. In any case, your view is laughable and of limited relevance.”

So cooking up a fee note to claim fees you know you weren’t entitled to is minor dishonesty and/or acceptable?

I truly hope you are not a lawyer, because you clearly have no judgement - or moral compass.

Anonymous 18 October 19 18:14

What you refer to as 'slightly dishonest' 16.15 I would refer to as a minor act many years ago. Sounds like it is sorted out as it is no longer objectively important under either definition.

Anonymous 18 October 19 19:07

Yes, it is indeed minor dishonesty 16.21. Where does it say it's acceptable.

I truly hope you're not a lawyer as you don't seem to be able to assimilate facts and argue coherently and might be better looking at your own moral compass before judging others.

Anonymous 21 October 19 01:27

Is this really a story? It must have been pretty minor looking at the fine of a grand (probably the clerks messed up the billing, I don't know any barrister who does that himself) .The BSB can fine up to 50K, suspend practice or disbar if it is really serious. Slap on the wrist more like. Move on Sir, nothing to see here.

Anonymous 21 October 19 12:08

A lot of IM haters I see. Well in my books he’s a gentleman and a thoroughly decent guy who tries his best to be the best leader possible. No body is perfect. He made a mistake; he was punished. He paid his dues. A lot too quick to jump on the flog it wagon- I hope you never need redemption and rehabilitation in your lives. 

Get real 21 October 19 21:24

The judgment makes it clear that he was convicted of dishonestly billing a client for work he hadn’t done. Specifically, he caused an invoice to be raised by his clerks for a hearing which he knew he hadn’t attended. 

If the matter was a simple mistake by his clerks, he would not have been charged, let alone convicted, of professional misconduct resulting from his dishonesty.

This is very serious stuff. Those arguing to the contrary are doing so in bad faith. 

Anonymous 22 October 19 00:38

This is clearly a nonsense story. It seems to me the comments here are from Harneys competitors. It's too bad that they are so afraid of competing head on with Ian and Harneys that the would rather try and take him down than to rise up to a challenge.  ROF and these commenters ought to feel very ashamed of themselves.

Anon 22 October 19 07:54

The bar council has its procedures, if it warranted not being allowed to be a lawyer anymore then they would have done that? Instead a small fine was issued which he presumably paid and then got on with his life. Trial by comments here. 

Anonymous 22 October 19 09:33

"Is this really a story? It must have been pretty minor looking at the fine of a grand (probably the clerks messed up the billing, I don't know any barrister who does that himself) .The BSB can fine up to 50K, suspend practice or disbar if it is really serious. Slap on the wrist more like. Move on Sir, nothing to see here."

"Probably the clerks messed up the billing"?

No. Not probable. Not in the least bit likely.

The offence of which he was convicted was "Dishonesty or conduct otherwise discreditable to a barrister" . A clerking cock-up would be an honest mistake (and only vicariously his mistake at that)and a reasonable explanation; and it would found a successful submission of no case to answer or constitute a complete defence. Yet there is nothing to indicate that such an explanation was even put forward; and if it was, the conviction means that it must have been rejected as improbable 

As for the sentence being a 'slap on the wrist', a better description might be that he 'got off lightly', with all the negative connotations which that brings. The conduct that led to the conviction is set out in the tribunal's ruling, and the words 'dishonest' and 'discreditable' are apt and accurate descriptions of that conduct. Getting off lightly does not make him any less dishonest or discreditable to his profession; if anything, it makes things worse IMHO, viz "I billed a client for a hearing I failed to attend and tried to pass the bill off as work done in preparing for the re-listed hearing. This was dishonest or otherwise discreditable to my profession, but hey, I only got fined GBP1,000, so that's all right then, happy days! Since then, a new cultural energy has emerged and built my capacity to unprecedented levels of resilience.". Capacity for what, exactly? Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose? 

The chronology of events may help explain why he got off lightly. The offence was committed in October 2007. He moved to BVI in 2008 and joined Harneys in 2009. The conviction was not until June 2010. By that time, he had already been admitted in BVI and had not practised in England for circa 2 years. Those unkindly disposed towards the Manngling Partner could infer that, in the eyes of the tribunal, being rid of him was a significant factor mitigating the severity of the offence.  

 

Offshoring Problems 22 October 19 15:52

Those unkindly disposed towards the Manngling Partner could infer that, in the eyes of the tribunal, being rid of him was a significant factor mitigating the severity of the offence.”

Problems such as the Manngling Partner should not be offshored by the BSB.

Anonymous 22 October 19 16:21

Peter Tarn and Ian Mann must be burning up their data usage with some of these comments. You are both an embarrassment to the profession. 

Anonymous 22 October 19 16:24

I think it’s time RoF checked if Chairmann Mann has disclosed his dishonesty convection to the HK Law Society, and the BVI. Because he surely doesn’t have a practising certificate in England and Wales. 
 

Easily done.  If he has, then well and good. If not, then consequences for further dishonesty must flow. 

Anonymous 22 October 19 17:00

In my books he’s a stand up guy who exudes enthusiasm and positivity. Much better that than your classic Type A pp partner looking to ruin your day.  I’m glad to work for a managing partner like him. 

Anonymous 22 October 19 17:00

@Get real - this is a minor matter from years ago. Those pretending that they think its serious don't really think that it is.

Realist 22 October 19 17:38

I have read the judgment. It records that Mann made a no case to answer submission and the Tribunal rejected it.

Storm in a Teacup? 23 October 19 10:58

Many of the commenters are saying this is a storm in a teacup (or something along those lines) but they neglect to address the disclosure in other jurisdictions point.

The judgment is dated 26 August 2010.  Ian was admitted as an attorney in NY on 8 December 2010.  Did he disclose the judgment to the NY Admissions Board?  If he did, this really is no big deal.  If the Admissions Board did not care so soon after the fact, why should anyone else over a decade later?  Harneys could clear this up very easily by confirming that all relevant disclosures were made to regulatory authorities in NY (and HK).  Why don’t they?

Anonymous 23 October 19 11:11

Harneys’ North Korean like propaganda machine has fully swung into action now!

 

Anonymous 23 October 19 12:05

No one is being asked to post. Believe or not we like our boss. Hard to believe in private practice I know. 

Anonymous 23 October 19 15:14

”Lot of holier than thou snowflakes/ competitors on this thread”

Damn right. Lot of lawyers on here without dishonesty convictions, and with perfectly clean records. This might come as a shock to people like you, but most lawyers do actually have clean records, especially where dishonesty is concerned. 
 

I presume you are Harneys (as with most of the defenders on here) so good for everyone to know that falsifying invoices is regarded as “no big deal” as part of your firm culture.  Im sure your clients will be thrilled to know that. 

London Lawyer 24 October 19 02:09

The ignorance of those posting that anyone saying this was a “minor” incident is a Harneys competitor is breathtaking. It would not be regarded as minor at my firm, and non-disclosure (if that has indeed occurred - we should not be assuming that) would see you justifiably dismissed.  Harneys (or someone - surely RoF can do this in the interests of proper journalism) should put an end to this trial by comment (which is a criticism that can be levelled at both sides here) and (i) post the full decision and reasons; and (ii) confirm that the conviction was disclosed to the appropriate regulatory bodies in each jurisdiction.  
 

If it was, and the regulatory bodies have issued practising certificates having considered it, then this is now a non-issue (it seems clear from Peter Tarn’s comments that rightly or wrongly Harneys have no issue with it). It’s not my place to comment on the merits of that decision, as I don’t know the individuals involved. 
 

However, if it has not been disclosed, then it is proper (and in the best interests of everyone) that the regulatory bodies are given an opportunity to consider this individual’s fitness to practise afresh based on all relevant information, as initial and continuing non-disclosure is of itself a serious issue. 
 

But a starting point for now would be for RoF to post the decision and reasons, which it either already has or could no doubt (given they are public) obtain.  

Tricoteuse 24 October 19 06:29

"In my books he’s a stand up guy who exudes enthusiasm and positivity."

A stand up comedian more like; only not funny, just laughable.

 

 

Tricoteuse 24 October 19 07:09

"Lot of holier than thou snowflakes/ competitors on this thread"

But only one sanctimonious proselytising false prophet preaching sermons to the ALB in these terms:

The Dalai Lama once famously said, “If you want others to be happy, practice [sic] compassion. If you want to be happy, practice [sic] compassion,” he (Ian) adds. “It’s a different way of looking at litigation and is what I teach all my young Harneys associates. The fame and profits will come to you as a lawyer, with patience, if your starting point is pure. Genuine mindful compassion for clients’ needs also means you are more likely to win your litigation disputes in court.”

So the message (young Harneys associates, polish your halos and take note) is obviously:

1. A misconduct conviction is a pure starting point. Tick.

2. Genuine mindful compassion for clients' needs means not turning up for the hearing at all. Tick.

3. Not turning up for the hearing at all means you are more likely to win in court, so you can and should charge the client for not attending. Tick.

Ignore the so-called snowflakes and/or competitors if you wish. The irony of the Manngling Partner's own words condemns him more effectively than any words from his detractors.

Anon 24 October 19 13:42

The offshore community in HK is so stressy at times! Calm the hate guys. Clearly most of these comments are from a bunch of second rate competitors hoping and praying that a yawn yawn article on ROF will engineer Ian’s downfall. Good luck with that lads, maybe just focus on your own crappy practices in the meantime. The level of sanctimony in some of the comments is next level, highly amusing.  

Anonymous 25 October 19 06:23

all the haters are failed Harneys folk joining jersey competitors get over yourself 

Anonymous 25 October 19 08:14

Always a sign you've lost the argument, 23rd @11.11, when you start pretending people you disagree with are the people accused.