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Honest rogues: The ‘mainly honest’ lawyers who put your firm at risk

Francis Dingwall, Frank Maher and Sue Mawdsley discuss how to identify ‘mainly honest’ lawyers who push the boundaries of acceptable risk  

19 June 2014

This article is not about the all-too-familiar cases of rogue lawyers who steal from clients and their firms. Instead, it is about the mainly honest lawyers who break their firms’ rules (which were put in place to protect them from themselves and each other) and take risks that their firms would regard
as unacceptable.

This is not just about the partners who refuse to comply with procedures (and against whom they are not enforced). It is also about the top rainmakers who find ways around the rules and who are granted general dispensations from them.

Matter inception

Lawyers are trained, in part, to find their way around the rules – and therein lies the problem. It starts at the client and matter inception stage. Some firms have new client procedures that require an answer to a risk assessment question – high, med...

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