True lies, or possibly lies lies.
A person has emailed a law firm claiming that one of its female lawyers stripped off and tried to make him fondle her as part of an attempt to win his business.
The firm, an immigration specialist, has rejected the individual's outlandish allegations.
The complainant called himself Oleg and claimed that 'Ms D' (ROF is not identifying her or her firm) offered to take him on as a client.
“I met with [Ms D] around two weeks ago for informal discussion about immigration potentialities for family members”, claimed Oleg in his email to the firm, which copied in partners, the head of Ms D's team and even a trainee.
He alleged that Ms D had sought to secure his instruction to obtain UK visas for his brother’s family in Ukraine, and that she offered to fast track the process if she was given "the right kind of incentive", namely extra cash.
Then, for reasons which are not entirely clear, she “accompanied me to my accommodation”, said Oleg.
“At this point I understood that this was not a good idea and told her that she should leave and that I would take this case of mine to another firm", he said.
Instead of leaving, Ms D “removed most of her clothing and tried to put my hand on her genitals”, alleged Oleg.
"I then told her to leave instantly and she angrily stormed out, saying I would hear from her again to work out how much I owed for her ‘wasted time’”, he said.
Oleg told the firm to report Ms D to the SRA and keep her away from him “as I do not want further problem”.
Oleg maintained in email correspondence with ROF that he was not a troll, but a 51-year-old Deliveroo driver who had moved to England in 2015 after Russia annexed Crimea.
Oleg said that friends recommended Ms D's firm as it had been helping Ukrainians with visa applications. But that after his distressing experience his brother’s family had ended up going to Poland instead.
Oleg told ROF he was unable to provide proof of his identity as he needed to stay off the grid to keep his family safe. "I am sorry but I don't have social media or Linkedin. It can be dangerous to make posts on social media when you are Ukrainian living abroad because if you say anything about war with Russia sometimes extended family can become target", he said.
He did not respond when asked to provide other evidence of his identity.
Ms D's firm rejected Oleg's claim. It told ROF it once had a client with the same name as Oleg, but that he told the firm he had never met Ms D nor made a complaint, and didn't own the email address from which the complaint originated.
“The complaint is a fake”, said the firm.
When presented with the firm's dismissal of his complaint, ‘Oleg‘ told ROF, “I am not sure why this firm is saying I am not the real Oleg”, and signed off his email, “(THE REAL!) Oleg”.
In a further twist, an anonymous person claiming to be a friend of Oleg then got in touch to express dismay at ROF’s scepticism.
"I spoke to Oleg on the phone a couple of weeks ago and I am about 95% sure he's legitimate as a person", said the friend.
Attempts to smear lawyers are not unknown. Last year a senior partner at legacy BLM was subjected to false allegations they were aligned with the IRA, and a fraudster mounted a campaign of lies against a London lawyer in an attempt to destroy his reputation.
In 2021 a person allegedly targeted at least eight female professionals including a lawyer as part of a harassment campaign.