A paedophile who committed numerous child sex offences while he was a senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills has been struck off.
The lawyer was identified as ‘AH’ in the SDT judgment and his solicitors threatened RollOnFriday with legal action to prevent him from being named in this story.
Bindmans told ROF that publishing his name would “lead to the identification of his ex-wife and children and cause irreparable harm”. It said that identifying AH would also cause irreparable harm to him.
AH was found to have accessed, downloaded or stored 9,824 indecent photographs of children between 2009 and 2019, of which 1,379 were assigned Category A, the most serious grade of image which involves penetrative sexual activity with a child, sexual activity with an animal or sadism.
In January 2019 he attempted to meet an 8-year-old girl for sexual activity, having planned the rendezvous with two other men identified as “Kev” and “Chris”.
The solicitor, who worked in HSF’s London office, pleaded guilty in 2021 to three offences of making indecent photographs of a child, and in 2022 he was convicted in the Crown Court of offences relating to his attempt to meet the young girl.
He was sentenced to 19 months in prison, but his custodial sentence was substituted with a suspended sentence following a successful appeal in March. He was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) for a period of 10 years, and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
AH, who is now 48, agreed with the SRA that he should be struck off but raised several points in mitigation.
He said he had completed 92 sessions with a therapist “at his own expense”, attended Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings since 2019, not re-offended since he was indicted, and had worked “very hard at maintaining an amicable relationship with his ex-wife and to maintain an enduring relationship with his two daughters”.
HSF declined to comment.