A solicitor struck off for defrauding clients has been caught apparently plagiarising the work of other lawyers.

As a solicitor at his firm De Vita Platt, 35-year-old Chris Platt bullied a trainee into helping him overcharge clients. In one instance he and De Vita Platt's other partner, Jonathan de Vita, invoiced a client £52,000 for work valued at £2,500. Their actions resulted in the firm's closure and all three lawyers getting struck off.

Platt is now standing trial at York Crown Court alongside De Vita, De Vita's wife and several others in connection with alleged frauds they perpetrated at other law companies they ran. After an investigation by trading standards, Platt and De Vita have been accused of being "knowingly a party" to fraudulent business activity in which they convinced elderly victims they could help them avoid care home fees.

But Platt apparently didn't let the scrutiny put him off his stride. He has popped up at Stallard Kaine, a health and safety consultancy, contributing posts on its website. Paradoxically, the man who treated his HR obligations towards one of his own employees so casually his schemes got her struck off is billed as Stallard Kaine’s HR Advisor.

Perhaps because he is so time-poor due to his court engagements, Platt's post about restrictive covenants is almost a word-for-word replica of other solicitors' work. The first paragraphs appear to have been lifted from a blog posted in July 2017 by Omar Khalil, the Head of Legal at EEF, a representative body for UK manufacturers. The remainder duplicates an advice paper produced by Linklaters in 2014.

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Stallard Kaine and, via it, Platt, failed to reply to requests for comment. After being contacted by RollOnFriday, the company quickly and quietly removed Platt's crowdsourced article from its site:

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Platt is not the first solicitor to be caught impersonating a magpie. Even Wombles have, fittingly, got involved. However he is the first for whom it's not the most embarrassing thing they've ever done.

For those who want a refresher on restrictive covenants, here's Platt's article and, alongside it, his sources:

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Comments

Anonymous 15 February 19 10:20

According to plagiarism.org, plagiarism is: "plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward".

Didn't Mr. Platt steal from clients and then lie about it to the SRA? But he blamed Ms Scott, the whistleblower, who was immediately put on "gardening leave" when she complained about Platt's fraudulent activities to Jonathan De Vita (who charged with fraud alongside Platt)

And note that part of Platt's plagiarism (in the artcle above) includes reference to how Ms Scott was dismissed - by putting her on "gardening leave".

Even while De Vita and Platt were still running their law firm and taking home £2,000 - £10,000 per week (yes, that is what one employee from the firm wrote in a statement to the SDT tribunal) their website's Privacy Policy was also an act of plagiarism - from some website in the USA, so every legal reference was to U.S. Law:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180120230155/http://www.devitaplatt.com/tos/

De Vita and Platt are the biggest pair of lying fraudulent dumbos, ever!

Anonymous 15 February 19 10:34

Given the plagiarism, I am not sure if he got hoisted by his own petard or someone else's

Pedant's Bottom 15 February 19 11:31

Actually, the plagiarised material refers to 'Gardening leave' in the sub-heading and to 'garden leave' elsewhere. The SDT judgment refers to Emily Scott being placed on "gardening leave"

Lydia 15 February 19 11:40

He coudn't even get the copying right as he changed an "exiting employee" to an "existing employee"

Anonymous 15 February 19 13:38

Do you think that Stallard Kane or the £2,000 per week solicitor will complain that Roll on Friday has breached their copyright by plagiarising their plagiarised article?

ShootyMcShootyface 15 February 19 15:39

On the plus side, at least he's sorted his hair out. He should really be given credit for that.

Still got a strange mouth though. I can't put my finger on what it is. Something about the upper lip. I was at school with people who had similar mouths. They all freaked me out, and, to a person, were wrong 'uns.

But, as I say, the hair's a lot better now. 

Though he's probably plagiarised the style from someone else.

And nicked their gel.

And didn't pay the hairdresser. 

Anonymous 15 February 19 20:54

@ShootyMcShootyface

You got me worried now, cos I find his lips strangely attractive

Anonymous 15 February 19 21:26

@ShootyMcShootyface

He just might be his cellmate's pucker factor with lips like those