holiday copy

"Three months by the pool! And thanks for letting us keep our hands!"


Four Clyde & Co lawyers working in the United Arab Emirates have been temporarily banned from working after they crossed paths with a powerful Emirati.

The solicitors have been suspended from practising law for three months by the Dubai Legal Affairs Department for a "breach of certain conflict of interest rules".

Details are scant. Unlike legal regulators in the UK, the DLAD does not publish records of its proceedings, judgments and sanctions, nor does it identify lawyers against whom it has taken action. The DLAD did not respond to requests for comment.

RollOnFriday understands that the DLAD honed in on Clyde's four lawyers, as well as local lawyers, after a powerful Emirati successfully overturned a judgment made in 2013 where Clyde & Co acted for the other side.

A source suggested the influential figure had pulled strings to “take revenge”, and that "there appears very little in the way of any wrongdoing or negligence highlighted in the bringing of the sanction".

"It seems to be a case of, 'this case was determined with an incorrect result; you were one of the parties who helped to bring about that incorrect result; a punishment is therefore in order", said the source, who does not work at Clyde & Co*.

At least one of the suspended lawyers is a junior solicitor whose involvement in the case "ran to little more than sharing lists of documentation via email with the other side", said a source.

There has been no coverage of the sanctions locally and no official notice is available, but news filtered out after the lawyers spent the first week of October emailing clients to explain that they aren't currently allowed to provide legal advice.

RollOnFriday understands the firm has notified the SRA.

In a statement, Clyde & Co told RollOnFriday, "We are aware of a decision by the Dubai Legal Affairs Department (DLAD) against a number of lawyers in the UAE. While we are pleased that two of the three allegations that were contained in the original complaint to the DLAD were dismissed, the DLAD has upheld the decision that there was a breach of certain conflict of interest rules. We maintain that our lawyers acted with integrity at all times and are exploring avenues to challenge the decision".

*so please don't suspend more of them, DLAD.


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Comments

Mac 05 November 21 08:58

We scoff. But Boris and chums I suspect (on recent evidence) would aspire to that sort of government by capricious and self-interested fiat. 

DXB Lawyer 05 November 21 09:06

If you incur the wrath of a 'powerful Emirati' things could turn out worse (much)!

Not surprised 05 November 21 09:07

I know that life in a non-local law firm in the middle east appeals to those expats who are smart enough to realise they don't need to work too hard (just fill in templates/ read translations/ print docs/ instruct local lawyers to do all the main stuff/ go to lunch) but can get shed loads of money whilst expensing costs for maids, kids school fees and rent (well that was my experience of every ex pat lawyer I encountered on a client secondment out there). 

This is the well known risk and the downside to all those perks - upset those in power in the region and you are out. This is nothing new. General rule for all rich and working lawyers out there  -use your clients as a cash cow where you can but don't do anything to rock the boat. When I was out there I was even ordered by my law firm not to use any social media, email or whatsapp to comment, like or engage with  anything remotely human rights/ politically oriented. I know a fair few lawyers who have been ousted from the region for upsetting the wrong folks. 

Anonymous 05 November 21 10:00

Yes, well that's the hidden cost of living in a low tax totalitarian state isn't it? All great fun until you run into a situation where you wish you had some human rights.

 

Next story: it's hot in Dubai. Also, sandy.

anon 05 November 21 10:33

Not surprised 05 November 21 09:07: being a post box for other lawyers is not an upside. It is professional humiliation. This is why lawyers in Dubai, Cayman, BVI, etc are not taken seriously. 

Not surprised 05 November 21 11:57

Anon 10:33 : I know but really who cares about professional integrity when you get to live each day in the sun, do sweet FA at work, have maids/drivers do everything for you, brunch all weekend, live in luxury and get paid megabucks for the privilege? 

City 05 November 21 12:09

Not surprised 05 November 21 11:57: it is not a privilege not to be taken seriously by the rest of the profession. But then again, you know that. You just don't care. Which is fine, but be honest.

Your Man In Amster... Dubai 05 November 21 12:55

Oh no.

Three months in which I can't do any work and so will have to spend my days eating brunch, humping hookers (sorry, I mean 'instagram models') and blearily instructing my maid to clear up the detritus strewn around my expensively tasteless apartment before I begin my daily exertions anew. Truly this is a cruel purgatory.

On occasional moments throughout this ordeal I will have flashes of clarity and shed a tear for the indentured slave labourers on whose efforts this Babylonian edifice is built, and of course for the lack of availability of challenging theatre productions of the sort only performed in the West End's edgiest venues, for which I pine daily during the moments in which I am not being distracted by the vigorous physical exertions of my latest courtesan (no, wait, I meant 'fitness influencer and part-time personal trainer').

@ anon 05 November 21 10:33 05 November 21 14:19

Hate to break this to you, but lawyers in general are not taken seriously. It doesn’t matter where you work, whether London or New York, or Dubai or BVI, we’re seen as paper pushers and drafters who have no real understanding of business or finances. Clients would rather not deal with lawyers if they could avoid it. 
 

I don’t begrudge lawyers who go to low tax jurisdictions, law is difficult it enough to practice, why not (as you say) go somewhere where perhaps the work is a bit easier, the hours generally more sane and you get paid heaps for it? Seems like an obvious decision to me, forget about prestige because you’re in a profession that’s at the lowest rung of the corporate ladder. 

Anon 05 November 21 17:30

@ anon 05 November 21 10:33 05 November 21 14:19: but that is not true. Lawyers are in general taken very seriously and are highly respected. The only lawyers who are not taken seriously or respected are those in the offshore jurisdictions, such as BVI, Bermuda and Cayman, or Dubai.

Anonymous 05 November 21 18:03

"Lawyers are in general taken very seriously and are highly respected"

No. Your paid escorts are only saying this to you because they think you like to hear it*.

All consider us to be vermin of the lowest order. They would use us like living bearskin rugs if the police would let them. Look into the pools of their eyes, you will find only contempt gazing back.

 

 

 

*Or because they are Russian and have not properly understood your question as it was not spoken in their mother tongue. Their contempt for you is strongest of all.

Mountain 05 November 21 20:09

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers", Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.

"Why don't sharks bite lawyers? Professional courtesy." Anon. Always funny to non-lawyers.

The only people who believe that lawyers are highly respected are - er, checks notes - lawyers.

For those whose egos need propping up by the belief that their fellow citizens value them, you go girl: tell yourself whatever you must to motivate yourself. Personally, I've seen too many friends get taken advantage of by unscrupulous (non-legal) employers exploiting their idealism, burn out, and make irreversible career decisions that with hindsight were contrary to their interests - all because they were driven by their egos (or other people manipulated their egos).

I'd happily restrain my "ego" to work in the locations sneeringly referred to above, i.e. Dubai, Cayman, BVI, or any location with better weather than the UK, less air pollution than London (if you live in Central London, buy a tester: it's unnerving), and - last but not least - less taxation (54% marginal rate for Additional Rate payers, from April 2022, including employer NI). You can't pay your mortgage with "status", "prestige", or "ego".

Each to their own, though. 

Anonymous 05 November 21 22:08

@20.09

So is this the reason lawyers look down on patent attorneys? I guess it is always comforting to have someone at least one step below.

And yet when it comes to the intellectuals in a country, the legal profession tends to be well represented. So there has to be at least some respect.

Anon 06 November 21 06:15

Mountain 05 November 21 20:09: it is silly of you to suggest that you can pay your mortgage with "status", "prestige", or "ego". You of course pay it with money. And you can earn the same if not more as a City partner as you do in these third rate jurisdictions such as Cayman, BVI and Dubai. It is simply a competence issue. Those good enough to to practise in the City remain there.

Anon 06 November 21 09:23

Air quality better in Dubai? That's laughable. It has some of the worst air quality in the world. Check AQI app or Breezometer.

Anonymous 06 November 21 12:09

I am astonished by the number of downvotes of 18:03.

Did that many people really think that their hookers held them in esteem?

 

 

No. For you they reserve especial contempt. 

Cayman Lawyer 06 November 21 18:59

LOL at ANON 06:15 thinking a London partner will earn more than an equity or salaried partner in Cayman. 

Anon 06 November 21 19:37

Cayman Lawyer 06 November 21 18:59: an equity partner of a top City firm will earn more or the same as a Cayman partner. And the City partner will have professional respect - which the Cayman partner will never have.

Anonymous 08 November 21 09:59

I'm glad somebody finally mentioned Lord Lester, it was the like the elephant in the room that we all wanted to talk about but were awkwardly avoiding until someone else broke the wall of silence. You could tell we were all desperate to, but nobody wanted to go first.

 

Was he guilty or innocent? I don't know.

Was he cleared to practice, or to only to practise. It's impossible for me to say.

Hero or villain? Victim or victimiser? Martyr or messiah? I will leave it to greater minds to inform me.

 

All I can tell for sure is that he has truly become a Legend.

Like Robin Hood, but with a cigar. 

Anon 08 November 21 10:46

Anonymous 08 November 21 08:32: please provide evidence, by way of publically available material, that the BSB cleared Lord Lester.

The B.S.B. 08 November 21 11:26

Just to be as clear as We can be about this: We cleared Lord Lester of all wrongdoing.

anon-y-mous 08 November 21 11:38

All the comments above show is that no one has any idea what it is like to live and work in the Middle East.

Also, there is quite a bit of envy over the tax break...

Anonymous 08 November 21 12:26

@9.59 - his case is probably one of the most important ever to be raised in the House of Lords, and continuesto generate huge interest. And a good example, as I think is now generally accepted, of how not to investigate somebody for allegations of misconduct.

Brian Scalabrine 08 November 21 12:35

Why do people keep harping on about respect when talking about working overseas.  I'm in London and if I had the family circumstances to, I would move to Dubai or Abu Dhabi in a heartbeat.  This nonsense about professional respect etc. is meaningless.  Respect doesn't help you pay off your mortgage in 5 years.  Do what you want, and don't worry about people you don't know or don't like respecting you for being a solicitor. 

Anon 08 November 21 15:58

The B.S.B. 08 November 21 11:26: you are not the BSB or you would know that you did not clear Lord Lester; Anonymous 08 November 21 12:26: it is not accepted, whether generally or otherwise, that the process was in any way faulty. Remember that the Committee, comprised of retired Law Lords, decided that the process was fair, and the House of Lords approved that decision by a vote.

City 08 November 21 16:01

Brian Scalabrine 08 November 21 12:35: "Respect doesn't help you pay off your mortgage in 5 years" - nobody is suggesting it does. People of talent can earn (indeed, out earn) in the City what those in places like Dubai earn; and City lawyers have respect.

The B.S.B. 08 November 21 16:33

To add to Our previous remarks, We would never condescend to work in Dubai and would regard anyone who would debase themselves thus as being a lower form of life than even the most contemptible of cockroaches.

Not even a Harrow man would stoop to it.

Anonymous 08 November 21 22:01

@10.46 - the evidence is your lack of evidence to support your original comment @05.03 that they didn't.

Anonymous 08 November 21 22:17

@15.58 - but they did clear him.

It is accepted that the process was unfair because of this and because the Lords voted that it was unfair, including Baroness Butler Sloss, the first female justice of appeal. The Committee wasn't composed of retired Law Lords, and their claim that the process was fair was never approved by a vote. The only vote on the matter found the process to be unfair.

anon-y-mous 09 November 21 07:57

City 08 November 21 16:01 "City lawyers have respect."

From who? City lawyers respect themselves and themselves alone. Look at the comments on any RoF article, it's full of City boys who think they are the mutts unmentionables while everyone else is an idiot.

Anon 09 November 21 11:23

Anonymous 08 November 21 22:01: so you accept you have no evidence that the BSB cleared Lord Lester. Thank you.

Anon 09 November 21 11:28

Anonymous 08 November 21 22:17: so in other words:

1) The BSB did not clear Lord Lester.

2) The Committee, comprised of retired Law Lords, decided that the process was fair, and the House of Lords approved that decision by a vote.

 

Anonymous 09 November 21 12:57

@11.23 - I accept that the evidence is your lack of evidence to support your original comment @05.03 that they didn't. Thank you.

Anonymous 09 November 21 13:00

@11.28 - no, in other words they did clear him. The Committee wasn't comprised of retired Law Lords, and their claim that the process was fair was never approved by a vote. The only vote on the matter found the process to be unfair. Anyone doubting this can look it up.

You're repeating the same false accusations doesn't make them true.

Anonymous 09 November 21 13:33

@07.20 - so spot on that a chorus of agreement erupted across the globe with all humanity joining as one voice.

 

HALLELUJAH!!!

Anonymous 09 November 21 15:28

Can anyone confirm what brand of cigars Lord Lester used to smoke?

 

 

Do tobacconists still stock them, are you aware?

The B.S.B. 09 November 21 15:30

Be advised, @11.28, that We consider it impertinent of you to contradict Us.

We said what We said and We shall restrict Ourselves to saying it only once. Let the record be your guide as to Our conclusions.

Anon 09 November 21 15:32

Anon 09 November 21 11:28: 

so in other words:

1) The BSB did not clear Lord Lester.

2) The Committee, comprised of retired Law Lords, decided that the process was fair, and the House of Lords approved that decision by a vote. Anyone doubting this can look it up.

 

Anonymous 09 November 21 17:17

@15.32 -  no, in other words they did clear him. The Committee wasn't comprised of retired Law Lords, and their claim that the process was fair was never approved by a vote. The only vote on the matter found the process to be unfair. Anyone doubting this can look it up. And when they do they'll see that this is correct and you are wrong.

Your repeating the same false accusations doesn't make them true.

Anonymous 10 November 21 08:00

Lord Cathcart, one of the Committee members, is a hereditary peer who previously worked in insurance. He isn't and never was a 'Law Lord'.

Anon 10 November 21 16:19

There were 3 retired Law Lords on the Committee: Lord Hope, Lord Brown and Lord Irvine.

Anon 11 November 21 07:20

It is very telling that evidence has been requested to support the notion that Lord Lester was cleared by the BSB, but that no such evidence has been forthcoming. On the state of the evidence, we can only conclude that Lord Lester was not cleared by the BSB.

Anonymous 11 November 21 12:21

Anon 10 November 21 16:19 - right, so the Committee wasn't 'comprised' of retired Law Lords at all then seeing as most of the members weren't in fact retired Law Lords.

Anonymous 11 November 21 12:54

Has anyone ever seen Lord Lester and Mother Theresa in the same room?

 

I'm just asking, because it occurs to me that I haven't.

You know what I'm saying?

Anonymous 11 November 21 12:56

They seek him here.

They seek him there.

They seek him almost everywhere.

Is he in Heaven?

Or is he in Chester?

That gosh darned trailblazer, Lord Lester.

Anonymous 11 November 21 15:34

@12.56:

They seek him here.

They seek him there.

They seek him almost everywhere.

Is he in Heaven?

Or is he in Chester?

That gosh darned trailblazer, Lord Lester.

...who was cleared by the BSB

Anonymous 11 November 21 18:00

@7.20 - the evidence that he was cleared was your lack of evidence to support your original assertion that he wasn't cleared. Based on this evidence, we can only conclude that he was cleared.

Anon 12 November 21 06:54

Here is the evidence that Lord Lester was not cleared by the BSB:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/corrections-and-clarifications-lqz3n72pw

“The headline to our article “Lord Lester cleared of peerage-for-sex claims” (News, last week) incorrectly suggested, when read alone, that Ms Jasvinder Sanghera’s complaint to the House of Lords about Lord Lester’s conduct may have been dismissed. The article reported on the outcome of an investigation into Lord Lester by the Bar Standards Board. The findings of an earlier House of Lords committee are unaffected by this ruling. We apologise for any distress caused.”

Where is the evidence that Lord Lester was cleared by the BSB? Please provide that evidence, or we will have to conclude that Lord Lester was not cleared by the BSB.

Anon 12 November 21 06:57

They seek him here.

They seek him there.

They seek him almost everywhere.

Is he in Heaven?

Or is he in Chester?

That gosh darned molester, Lord Lester.

City 12 November 21 07:00

Has anyone seen Lord Lester and Jimmy Savile in the same room? I think they would have got on well.

Anonymous 12 November 21 07:00

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the victim was cleared by the BSB and that the House of Lords voted that the investigation into the allegations was unfair as it didn't follow a fair process.

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