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Top law firm partner accused of having trainees edit his celebrity-style Wikipedia page

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Pennington Manches “not aware” of rookies being asked to create material to bolster solicitor’s profile

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A partner at Pennington Manches with an extremely impressive Wikipedia page has been accused of getting his trainees to maintain his presence on the site.

Some edits to the celebrity-style masterpiece that is ‘James Stewart (lawyer)’ are reported to have been made from IP addresses located at Penningtons Manches’ London office.

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But the firm denies any knowledge of such behaviour, with marketing and development director Rolland Keane telling Legal Cheek:

James Stewart is a high profile and very successful family lawyer so it is not in the least unusual that he would have a profile on Wikipedia. This is not a firm profile so the detail that is on there is personal to the individual but in so far as it relates to a Penningtons Manches lawyer the firm’s position is that we would expect the detail to be correct and accurate. We are not aware of any Penningtons Manches trainees or other staff being asked to create material to bolster James’s Wikipedia profile, frankly his achievements speak for themselves.

Stewart’s nomination for ‘Family Lawyer of the Year’ in 2012 and his successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro for charity are among the stand-out achievements on his impressive, if not mind-blowing, CV.

News of the allegations first surfaced this morning on legal blog RollOnFriday, where an anonymous source at the firm is quoted as saying that Stewart has “the most extensive Wikipedia page out there, all of which he had his trainees amend for him”.

The blog also reports that “Wikipedia has banned several accounts for repeatedly puffing up Stewart’s profile, including making multiple attempts to include a glowing citation from the ‘Excellence Awards 2010’ [citation needed], dismissed by other editors as ‘peacock material'”.

The claims recall another law firm Wikipedia furore involving solicitor turned Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

Back in 2008, an edit was made to the employment specialist’s Wikipedia page, comparing Umunna to then US presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Fast forward to 2013, and it emerged that the flattering-amendment came from a computer within the London office of Rochman Landau — now national outfit Ashfords — were Umunna was an associate at the time.

Umunna said he had “no recollection” of amending to his Wikipedia page.

34 Comments

Anonymous

‘Frankly his achievements speak for themselves.’

I swear, law is such a sycophantic industry, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so vomit-inducing.

(11)(0)

Lord Harley of Counsel

Self-publicising drivel

(9)(1)

Anonymous

Wow! Dr The Right Honourable The Lord Harley of Counsel of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem posts on Legal Cheek, what a coup. Thankyou Sir!

(3)(5)

Flaming asshole

Your joke is about as funny as Stage III testicular cancer.

(0)(3)

Anonymous

I see Mr Stewart spent some time establishing and reinforcing the colonialist presence of Israeli settlers in the former State of Palestine. I’d have imagined that’s one breach of international law that Mr Steward would have rather kept hidden.

(9)(12)

Anonymous

Fuaaark – as our marketing coordinator I’m just kinda waiting for my head partner to put this on my desk as a project..

How sad.

This is on some ‘HOLD MY MIXTAPE FAM’ type publicity

(6)(0)

Flaming asshole

YAY, that’s the SECOND article directly copy/pasted from ROF in a day!

My sincere congratulations Alex, this is a masterful achievement, worthy of top legal journalism.

I mean, it must have taken you some genuine, grey matter-racking effort to type into your web browser ‘rollonfriday.com’, then scroll down to not the first or the second, but the fifth (How did he do that, wow!) story on the page, click, double-click, simultaneously press ‘CTRL’ ‘C’, then ‘CTRL’ ‘V’ and voilà! An article worthy of LC was born!

Somebody pop the corks off at least a Moët cos’ this is amazing! I think I may have even shit my pants!

(28)(11)

Corbyn. Sympathiser.

The article makes it clear that Roll on Friday broke the story, so I think you are over-reacting somewhat. That said, in my view I think it could have credited Roll on Friday earlier in the piece.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

Unlike articles, you can’t edit comments.

(4)(1)

Corbyn. Sympathiser.

Do you mean to suggest that the reference to Roll on Friday was missing initially?

(2)(1)

Tugboat

Yep.

(0)(2)

Alex Aldridge

There is a lot of jealousy around about the success of Legal Cheek at the moment.

If you are going to write untrue, defamatory comments like this, you should at least have the courage to do it in your own name. This story builds on an excellent RollOnFriday story (fully credited) to add a quote from the law firm involved (which previously had issued no comment).

There is no copy and pasting, and at no point has the piece been changed post-publication. In future we are considering removing comments like this which defame us anonymously.

(12)(28)

Alan Blacker Esq., Saviour of the Universe and the Milky Way

Somebody seems to have hit a nerve there loololololol

#crybaby

(11)(9)

Anonymous

Defame? That claim only works if you have a reputation that can be defamed in the first instance.

(21)(5)

Doc Schwartz

Somebody bring some ointment to apply for dat burn!

(5)(3)

Anonymous

Jealousy? Heh.

(5)(4)

Anonymous

I think he meant “envy”. Give him a break, this isn’t Roll On Friday.

(6)(3)

Take a look at this muppet

“the success of Legal Cheek at the moment.”

Loooooool, you’re ‘avin a laugh bruh? What success? 😂😂😂

(10)(6)

Anonymous

You’re reading it you cretin.

(0)(0)

Merkel's merkin

Heh, joke’s on you asshat.

(0)(0)

Banter Train

Dat moment when the original comment has more likes than the weakling’s response… lololololol

(2)(3)

Just Anonymous

I agree with you that the accusations of plagiarism are unfair and don’t stand up to scrutiny.

However, you’re not going to make any friends by whining about defamation and threatening censorship, when LC quite plainly sails as close to defamation as it can so as to generate page views.

Titles like ‘Appeal judge who was cleared of flashing on packed commuter train retires at 65’ come to mind…

(24)(3)

Anonymous

Vom vom vom!

(0)(0)

Boh Dear

I sure do hope someone doesn’t edit his Wikipedia page based on this article *cough*

(4)(1)

Anonymous

‘Top’?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Clearly Mr Stewart has a monstrously outsized ego.

Does this jobbing divorce bloke have any insight into his condition…?

(6)(2)

Anonymous

I bet he has many leather bound books, and his apartment smells of rich mahogany

(4)(1)

Anonymous

View the previous edits of this page that were subsequently deleted, it’ll brighten your day.

(2)(2)

Lord Lyle of the Isles

Ah dinnae get it. His CV is wick (bottom of the bag). County Tyrone farmer? This is a joke isn’t it? Coleraine and Academical [sic] are oxymoronic. This is a spoof story , aye?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Crap article or funny article, depending how you look at it. Lifted from a blog which looks and feels like it has not moved on since the 90’s. The debate over Alex’s journalistic integrity is laughable – it’s a non- story, a joke piece, interned to raise a smile – nothing more!

(2)(1)

Gagarin's Boot

Hi Alex, nice to drop by even on a weekend. You still blow.

(1)(2)

Anon

There seems to be a masochistic element in LC’s readership – they clearly hate the stories, those mentioned in the stories, and the journalistic abilities of those responsible for them. Yet, despite the demands of successful legal careers, they are drawn back to the site time and time again, clearly only to be disappointed once more, judging by the ascerbic criticism which litters the comments section. Perhaps a public page view counter would reveal whether LC is the abject failure which the haters claim.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I would bet everything I have that the trolls that plague the comments on this site are not people with ‘successful legal careers’, rather undergraduate jocks with too much testosterone, shit scared about their own future.

(4)(0)

Comments are closed.