Hogan Lovells has sacked a high-profile partner after it emerged that he'd fiddled his expenses to the tune of £1 million over the past four years.

Until earlier this week Christopher Grierson was a top litigation partner at the firm, with a track record including the high-rolling BCCI litigation and the (presumably inspirational) Madoff bankruptcy. But following an investigation that started at the beginning of the year, he has been unceremoniously dismissed.

The revelation begs plenty of questions. Grierson had been falsely claiming an incredible average of £5,000 per week for four years - and if one assumes that only 50% of his claims were false, that would mean £10,000 per week in total expense claims. What on earth was going on at Atlantic House that let this go unnoticed? And what did he claim for? Golden duck houses? Plutonium?

    More than just a snout in a trough yesterday

The news was dramatic enough to waken up the national press, with Hogan Lovells featuring once again in the Daily Mail (even if it wasn't nearly as interesting as the firm's previous effort involving Neil Fagan's nippleclamp hell).

Grierson has promised to pay back the full sum within 14 days. Given that he's in a position to raise a million quid within a fortnight one wonders why he felt the need to fiddle the books in the first place. Still, it's unlikely to do him much good. The SRA is likely to take a dim view, and Grierson will be only too aware of the fact that a Clifford Chance secretary was recently sent to prison over a far smaller amount.

A spokesman for the firm said: "Christopher acted entirely on his own. He was a long-standing partner in the firm and highly-regarded. We are very saddened and concerned by these events, which represent a major breach of trust".

He added that the firm "had not notified the police as things stand".

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