Ever since my meeting with HFC, I continually complained to the partners at Weightmans that the work they were doing was unlawful. I had been doing that kind of work for 20 years and I had no doubt in my mind that the terms of the contract were forbidden by the Solicitors Rules. The usual verbal response was that it wasn’t unlawful and that they had obtained advice, which they never disclosed to me. The partner in charge of the project, Andrew Cox, used to refer to me, hilariously, as “Mr Ethical”. They refused to discuss the contract with me. The result of my complaints was that all the work was transferred away from me to their head office, my team of assistants were all made redundant, on one day’s notice, and I was told to find another client to justify my salary.
I sent this email to the Managing Partner Patrick Gaul and all other relevant partners, not one of whom replied:
After I had a period off work because of all the stress this was causing me and informed Weightmans that I wished to return to work, they sent me to a Harley Street psychiatrist. Presumably because I doubted their understanding of the law and to show that I was an unstable liability. I am told this is common in whistleblowing cases. Unfortunately for them this is what the psychiatrist reported:
The Law Society subsequently ruled that the contract was unlawful, but took no action as they said it only happened in a small number of cases and the contract had been amended. Strange that I wasn’t told that during my three year dispute with Weightmans.