Scott Gibson (l) and Clinton Brown (r) - who says he's also been done over.
A legal recruiter accused of passing off another headhunter's analysis as his own has denied responsibility for the plagiarism.
Clinton Brown, founder of New York-focused legal recruitment company C.T Brown, published 'The Partnership Track and Moving for Immediate Partnership' in August 2020.
Unfortunately the 18-page paper, which lists Brown as its author, bears an uncanny resemblance to 'The Partnership Track and Moving for Immediate Partnership' by Scott Gibson, a version of which was published by Legal Week in 2010.
A comparison reveals the two documents are identical aside from a handful of minor changes, most of which serve to revise Gibson's work for a US market. Brown's version substitutes “years experience” for "PQE", replaces "UK associates" with "US associates", and deletes a reference to "PAYE in the UK".
Gibson, the director of London-based legal recruitment company Edwards Gibson, realised his work had been plagiarised when a friend recommended Brown's paper to him.
"Oscar Wilde once said 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' so I was (sort of) flattered when a lawyer friend I know forwarded me 'an informative and well-written article'", remarked Gibson on LinkedIn.
"In my opinion it is indeed 'informative and well-written,' I certainly thought so when I first wrote the article back in 2010...a full ten years before Mr Brown miraculously re-created it".
Gibson suggested that Brown, "who purports to run 'the world’s preeminent Legal Search Firm,' might want to consider using his undoubted headhunting skills to search for a copyright lawyer". The aggrieved recruiter told RollOnFriday, "I suppose you have to salute his temerity", although, "somehow the total lack of effort" involved "felt worse than the theft itself".
However, Brown told RollOnFriday he was an innocent man. "There's no evidence that I personally was the individual who instigated this. We outsourced some of our insights and research a number of years ago", he said.
Brown explained that his company "spent a ton of money" with a third party based in Germany "about three years ago" to produce a resource, "and that's what they came back to us with".
"It is very, very, very similar, which is crazy", he said. "And obviously highly embarrassing".
But Brown said he had been "none the wiser", and that "if somebody had told me that it belonged to somebody else - it was copyrighted - I would obviously never have published the article".
Brown said he would search through his emails for the identity of the third party and "dig it out" for RollOnFriday, although by the time of publication he had not yet been able to locate the culprit's details.