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.

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Tip Off ROF


Grim on Friday 06 October 23 09:17

What a sick ****. Feel dreadful for his ex-wife and family. This sort of thing is stomach churning. As a senior associate he at least got on with people and did 

Anonymous 06 October 23 09:18

Imagine being this man's coworker and learning this about him. I wonder if they suspected he was an oddie.

Anon2023 06 October 23 09:27

A suspended sentence and full anonymity seems an astonishingly light punishment for a man who possesses thousands of the most serious forms of paedophilic images and has attempted to meet a prepubescent child for sex. Is it any wonder that the average man has little faith in the legal system? And yes, I'm sure all the lawyers and judges will make sententious noises about "the rule of law" and "equal treatment" - but frankly normal people don't care about all that, and would like to see people like this thrown in jail to rot (or, indeed, sent to Tyburn with a halter gratis). And law should be, at its core, a codified manifestation of popular morality.

Scep Tick 06 October 23 09:31

@09:18  I once worked alongside someone who was convicted of something similar - it was a huge shock, there was nothing suspicious about him.

what 06 October 23 09:36

How does someone who tried to meet an 8 year old girl for sex escape with a suspended sentence?

Client of HSF 06 October 23 09:37

I always looks these things up.  I can find no mention of his name anywhere.  I'm with many other comments above.  It is shocking that someone with money can get away with a suspended sentence and not being identified in the media.

Anonymous 06 October 23 09:44

Curious as to why Bindmans though publication of his name might cause "irreparable harm".

Presumably the fact that he pleaded guilty in 2021 and was convicted in 2022 is a matter of public record?

agree with 09:27 06 October 23 09:46

the guy who waved a phone picture of Bradley Lowery is likely to face jail time for his tw@ttish behaviour but this guy walks free.  UK sentencing is metal. 

Confused 06 October 23 09:54

How is a man who was caught almost 10k images on his PC, and who attempted to sleep with an 8 year old as recently as 2019, not only still in prison, but never went in the first place? Defies belief. 

Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 10:03

While I agree that the punishment is unreasonably light, saying that "law should be, at its core, a codified manifestation of popular morality" is incredibly stupid, in particular for a lawyer.  Anon2023 clearly cheated on some of his uni exams. 

Anonymous 06 October 23 10:04


10 years of it too!  

What is the most worrying is his escalation in arranging with 2 others to take it beyond a computer activity to trying to carry it out in person. 

grubby 06 October 23 10:10

I can see no legal basis on which Bindmans can prevent rof publishing his name, but I'm a corporate lawyer, not litigation - can anyone with specialist knowledge weigh in?

As a sidenote: shame on you, bindmans. It's one thing to defend a child abuser in court and give him the best defence you can -as all are entitled to. It's quite another to decide to run cover for him afterwards for the dollar. I would be interested to hear what all the parents in your firm think about taking this instruction.

Nick 06 October 23 10:11

How does the suspended sentence fit in the context of the judge’s threat to jail the football fan who waved an image at another fan of a (now sadly dead) chronically I’ll child. Both absolutely dreadful.  But surely the paedo is 2 million times worse? 

Anonymous 06 October 23 10:13

If this guy is getting anonymity (thanks Bindmans!) god knows what else the rich are managing to hush up.

I'm pretty much the most anti-Brexit person you can find but surely it provides an opportunity to re-balance the scales in favour of freedom of speech.

For example, ZXC an appalling judgment and is widely misused (see the issues at GBeebies).

TheManOnMybus 06 October 23 10:15

@09h27: law should not be a codification of mob behaviour. We'd all like to take him outside and kick physically him in the teeth, but we live in a civilised society so we should NOT be OK with the government physically doing that.

Tim 06 October 23 10:16

“The solicitor 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.”

The trial, sentencing and appeal should all be in the public domain surely?

Pervert Smith Freehills 06 October 23 10:22

Presumably the Herbies London staff all know who it is… unless all their former associates had that type of vibe 

Anonymous 06 October 23 10:53

I hate this sick beast but accept naming him could lead to his kids being identified and bullied at school. That's the only thing saving that sicko.

Anon 06 October 23 10:57

But surely many nonces have kids? I haven’t seen anonymity granted to anyone else for that reason.

Usually there are media reporting during the trial and sentencing.

I feel bad for the defendants who are found not guilty but their name is already all over the press during the trial.

This guy was convicted. Presumably the press thought there was no public interest in reporting on this case.

Pla 06 October 23 11:11

Fair play to ROF for publishing this article.

I am curious why none of the other legal papers and magazines are mentioning this.

If a paralegal makes a filing error the legal press are all over it ! 

Anonymous 06 October 23 11:17

@Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 10:03

If the law is completely out of touch with the morality of the people (which is not the same as the prejudisms of the mob), people will end up taking the law in their own hands. This is not a hypothetical issue, I know places where this has happened.

Anonymous 06 October 23 11:30

It does sound like he has lost everything and is doing his best to salvage a small element of what he once had. 

Nobody is merely the worst thing that they ever did. In this case it is undeniably terrible, but one would hope he gets the treatment he needs and is able to move on from this mistake. 

Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 11:41

Anonymous 06 October 23 11:17

Who defines where the morality of the people ends and the "prejudisms" of the mob begins? I also know of a place where the "morality of the people" (or was it the "prejudisms" of the mob?) dictated that citizens of a certain group had to wear an armband with a star, walk on gutters and have their assets taken away.  Not a hypothetical issue, I swear.

Anonymous 06 October 23 12:17

So all paedos should make sure they have a wife and children in order to preserve their anonymity for the future!  What a great precedent this is.  

Pathetic sentence 06 October 23 12:18

So many paedos looking at CAT A images/videos (children and babies being raped!) in the UK escape jail (google it). It’s disgusting and unsafe to simply allow such sickos back into society. The next step after viewing an act is doing an act like this sicko tried to do with the 8-year old.

There should be a minimum 10-year sentence (it should be capital punishment really) for viewing CAT A content.

Disgraceful 06 October 23 13:11

“Bindmans told ROF that publishing his name would “lead to the identification of his ex-wife and children and cause irreparable harm” what about the harm he’s indirectly caused by downloading those photos?

Bindmans nonce protection service 06 October 23 13:36

Bindmans is absolutely right to protect the anonymity of this unfortunate individual who is actually the real victim in all of this. I am sure Bindmans is doing this work on a pro bono basis, for the greater societal good and the protection of the innocent. Their selflessness and humility in acting for this person is truly inspiring. 

Anonymous 06 October 23 18:08

@Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 11:41

The least bad option is that the morality of the people is determined by the people at large. The alternative of a small group elevating themselves into self declared elite to determine this on behalf of a people they despise, tends to be worse. And yes, this is not without risks, as a few thousand years of varying degrees of civilisation can attest to. A certain Englishman who was instrumental in disposing of that Austrian put this is more elegant terms than me.

Lawyers along with authors, journalists and academics, are often considered the core of the intellectual elite of a country. ROF shows on a weekly basis that the legal part of the intellectuals is not without faults.

Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 21:28

@Anonymous 06 October 23 18:08

The lengths you’re prepared to go to justify a stupid statement are unsettling.

Saying that the core of the law should be simply the codification of people’s idea of morality is stupid on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll stick to the most obvious point. A while ago some very clever people realised that there are some rights to which one is (or should be) entitled simply by reason of being a human being, not because such rights were codified by the incumbent parliament, or because they reflect the majority’s idea of morals. In most civilised countries those rights - aka human rights - are the core of the legal system and, where they have written constitutions, such rights are generally prominently placed therein.  

So that’s your takeaway for today - in most civilised countries the current idea of morality is not, and should not be, what informs the law. Or would you disagree with that?


Je Suis Monty Don l’Autobus 07 October 23 08:21

“what about the harm he’s indirectly caused by downloading those photos?”

Would naming him, and therefore naming his family, unharm any of the victims to whom you refer?

Badumtish 09 October 23 21:25

Wayward lawyer

Is it your contention that certain rights are absolute and independent of social mores and times?

If you’ve been privately educated, I’d ask for money back.

Anonymous 09 October 23 22:05

@Wayward Lawyer 06 October 23 21:28

Your pomposity appears to prevent you from seeing that basic human rights is part of what makes a society civilised. Or do you belittle the ordinary member of society? For some, democracy is clearly too important to leave to the people.

New lawyer 11 October 23 15:01

So lawyer, uses lawyers to find loophole and lawyers up in arms!

Ironic really! 

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