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The ‘scouse scum’ YouTube rant lawyer has been fired — also via YouTube

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Chelsea FC-mad Clive O’Connell ejected from global law firm partnership

Lead

The London office of Goldberg Segalla has sensationally terminated the partnership of Clive O’Connell, the Chelsea FC-mad corporate lawyer who referred to Liverpool fans in a YouTube rant as, among other things, “scum scouse idiots”.

And the firm has also used YouTube to deliver its message.

O’Connell’s comments were picked up by Legal Cheek after appearing on the video sharing site and Twitter before reaching the mainstream media.

Goldberg Segalla initially backed the lawyer, describing him as “a caring colleague and consummate gentleman [whose] passion got the best of him”.

So this video — uploaded this morning — featuring the firm’s managing partner, Richard Cohen, stripping O’Connell of his partner status comes as something of a surprise.

Here is the full transcript of Cohen’s statement:

My name is Rick Cohen and I am the managing partner of Goldberg Segalla. I personally recruit every lawyer in this firm. I tell each of them that this firm is special because every lawyer who joins Goldberg Segalla must not only be excellent at what he or she does, but he or she MUST be an EVEN BETTER human being. Our core values require that anyone affiliated with Goldberg Segalla demonstrate respect for clients, courts, colleagues, and our communities. Respect, tolerance, kindness, diversity, and charity — these are not mere words or amorphous concepts to us. We are true to these values. Clive O’Connell’s comments are entirely inconsistent with our ethos. His words are offensive, plain and simple. His conduct does not reflect the standards to which we hold ourselves. For these reasons, we have terminated our partnership with Mr. O’Connell effective immediately. We are extremely proud of the respectful and giving culture that we have built within our firm. We are committed to maintaining it for ourselves, our clients, and the communities in which we are a part.

55 Comments

Guru nana

Well, hope the idea of helping to ruin a lawyer’s career because he lost his temper in public warms your heart Alex.

(62)(18)

James T

He didn’t lose his temper. If you googled his Chelsea blog you would know that he had calmly and collectedly written previous articles about Liverpool in which he branded the city as ‘inbred’ and their men as ‘Jimmy Saville’s’. He deserved everything he got.

(38)(12)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

He deserved everything he got.

Hold on. Because he said something, away from the office and on his personal time, that many people found offensive he should lose his job and livelihood?

What a ridiculous world we live in.

(30)(11)

James T

You are mistaken. He spoke in front of a camera to a journalist. His actions can in no way be deemed as private. Subsequently, he was found to be the author of a blog in which he had previously eloquently expressed prejudice against a group of people. These opinions and the fact that they had become public knowledge made him a liability in his job – an outward facing job in which he dealt with external clients and represented the values of his company. He could no longer be trusted to act with the client’s interests at heart in all situations have expressed such extreme prejudice.

(22)(11)

Guru nana

Wow, if half the things partners at City law firms said in their offices to other lawyers were ever put on LC then we’d have many, many empty offices in London by the end of the week.
Who cares if he had a thing about Liverpool. Big deal. What are you, Jesus Christ? Get a buzz out of judging other people?

(22)(18)

James T

Well he clearly did. Get a buzz. An he didn’t do it in a private office. He did it on open record. Your analogy does not apply. He was stupid and his actions did reputational damage to his firm. He had to pay the price. It is a good day if it encourages others to engage their brain before they speak.

(19)(8)

Guru nana

You seem to relish denouncing people for erring from your vision of ‘correct behaviour’. Have you ever watched the ‘Killing Fields’? You know, the bit when the young Khmer Rouge cadets denounce their parents and have them hung or sent to labour camps for ‘ideological impurity’? I think you’d really enjoy it. Maybe you could then go out afterwards and torture a cat or something similar. That would probably really get you off, Stephen T.

You seem to relish denouncing people for erring from your vision of ‘correct behaviour’.

(10)(12)

Guru nana

…James T (sorry, too affected by this)

James T

Hmmm, I not sure what you want me to say to this? Surprised you didn’t bring the Nazis in to it.

Most probably time to take a deep breath.

Anonymous

And perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad thing? Plenty of people with talent, integrity and humility available to step into the vacancies.

(6)(0)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

You are mistaken. He spoke in front of a camera to a journalist. His actions can in no way be deemed as private.

You are mistaken for not reading what I wrote. I didn’t say anything about privacy, merely that he was away from the office, off the clock, on his own personal time when he said something some people are offended by.

And you think that should be enough to destroy someone’s livelihood?

Again, what a ridiculous world we live in.

(9)(18)

James T

You are trying to maintain a false division. The minute he went public he wasn’t on his ‘own time’ because his actions affected his ability to do his job. They had directly affected his employer.

As to his livelihood – well he should have thought about that. But I am sure the scrote will land on his feet somehow after a period of ‘penitence’. I’m sure he has lots of ‘friends’ willing to ‘help’ him.

(6)(8)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

You are trying to maintain a false division.

No, I’m focusing on what I actually wrote while you’re trying desperately to argue that this barrister sought publicity for his comments. Itself highly debatable given he merely made his comments to a camera outside a stadium. If you’ve ever been to a stadium before after a match you’ll know that you’re hardly talking to ITV, mostly bloggers and fan channels that are viewed by practically no-one.

The minute he went public he wasn’t on his ‘own time’ because his actions affected his ability to do his job. They had directly affected his employer.

Careful now, because your argument also justifies the sacking of Charlotte Proudman. Many people find her extreme feminist man hating comments highly offensive and she has destroyed her credibility with any judge she appears before which prevents her from doing her job.

She should be removed from her position too, yes?

(9)(4)

James T

Right, so publishing a blog isn’t seeking publicity for your comments? Talking to camera under the reasonable knowledge that the footage will be disseminated is not seeking publicity? So posting comments on Twitter isn’t seeking publicity. If that’s not publicity I don’t know what is.

As for the Charlotte Proudman story, well that’s not relevant here for reasons I could get into but won’t as it’s a distraction.
Clive O’Connell’s sacking was not legally ordained. it was not a legal matter. It was a professional one. And his employer are in their rights to dismiss him as he is no longer able to perform to the minimum standards required in his position. If he wants to challenge them, well hey, he’s a lawyer. Go for it.

Lord Harley of Bollocks

Right, so publishing a blog isn’t seeking publicity for your comments?

Given that most blogs on the internet including his aren’t read by anyone, no, it’s not. Especially when his blog and even more tame twitter comment was only picked up after the story broke and journalists went hunting for dirt on him.

That’s how “public” this was. After match comments to a fan group with a camera no-one watches or has even heard of, a blog that you had to specifically hunt for, and a twitter comment no-one read.

To say this guy was profoundly unlucky his comments saw the light of day is an understatement. He should probably play the lottery.

As for the Charlotte Proudman story, well that’s not relevant here for reasons I could get into but won’t as it’s a distraction.

I’ll help you out. Your personal views as to what each said differ, and therefore even though they are comparable you agree with one and disagree with the other. Now do you understand why “being offensive” shouldn’t be a basis for someone losing their livelihood? Let’s hope you never say anything someone else finds offensive, eh?

his employer are in their rights to dismiss him

You do like jumping to totally different points don’t you? No-one mentioned employment rights, just that it was ridiculous that it happened.

Blunt Razor

Hold on, maybe he’s lost his job but he’s not going to lose his livelihood is he? Not exactly the end of the road for him I wouldn’t have thought.

The main thing damaged here is his reputation, and that was all down to one person. Certainly not the people expressing moral outrage on the internet.

An offensive bigot got punished for his offensive, bigoted behaviour. Ironically, given he practises law, justice.

He should seek counselling for his obvious issues. (I’ll resist the glaring line about supporting Chelsea; I’m referring to anger management and/or alcohol abuse.)

(3)(4)

Anonymous

Your behavior and choices outside of work matter. Should unsavory behavior come to your employer’s notice, they are within their rights to terminate your association. Lawyers are in a privileged position and are also bound by the terms of the SRA.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The ranting lawyer was clearly up his own arse!!!

(3)(8)

The Niteowl

Judges and magistrates in England, Canada, Australia, NZ and even the US have branded defendants “scum”, “vile”, and even “grubs”.

I can’t tell which is worse: “scum” or “grub”? I imagine that being a grub with a functioning nervous system is magnitudes better than being scum, which is nothing more than a mixture of bacteria in a biofilm, i.e. scum.

(2)(0)

Not Amused

Errrr …

This sort of thing has to stop. People have to stop forming mobs to hurt people who have offended them. People need to stop giving in to angry mobs.

Angry mobs are fundamentally bad. We really need to grasp this concept.

(44)(7)

Guru nana

Hear hear, we now have legal media lynch mobs.

Not a very civilised spectacle.

(13)(9)

Proudboobs

OTT but amusing.

(4)(5)

Anonymous

Great. Another life ruined by social media.

Newsflash: people aren’t perfect! We all have tempers. We all have emotions. We all make mistakes. What kind of terrifying world are we creating, where any sort of social indiscretion can be paraded on the internet before millions, thereby blackmailing our employer into firing us.

Be honest now. Can anyone truthfully say they haven’t said or done something, which, had it been captured and paraded on film, could well have led to their lynching by the self-appointed morality police?

(30)(7)

Anonymous

Yeah when you’re 20 and you make a cake to say thank you for a mini. Once you’re over about 25 any stupid “mistakes” you make are NOT really mistakes, they’re demonstrating immaturity. And as demonstrated above, he deliberately made his views public – this wasn’t gossip at a private dinner party. Plus, who would want to have this guy as their lawyer anyway?!

(8)(7)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

he deliberately made his views public

Err, he spoke to a fan group’s camera outside the stadium after a match. They are everywhere and no-one watches or has even heard of any of them. He was profoundly unlucky this was picked up. This wasn’t ITV, it was only marginally one up from a guy with a phone camera.

(3)(5)

Scouser

I am a Scouser. I am also a solicitor. My life working for somebody like that wouldn’t bear thinking about, even assuming I managed to get past the interview stage. I probably would, because I don’t sound like one, but God help me if I owned up about it, which I would do because I am proud of my background. I think his firm did the right thing.

(13)(14)

Lord Harley of Bollocks

This is getting ridiculous. He made anti-liverpool comments in the context of a football match where Chelsea just played Liverpool and lost, and suddenly the guy is automatically a workplace bully who won’t hire people from Liverpool?

Jesus.

(12)(7)

Anonymous

How utterly ludicrous! Pathetic over reaction by sanctimonious moron…..reflects more badly on the firm than anything the guy said….

(16)(10)

Anonymous

This would have been chip wrapper in another week. The sort of thing that would have blown over in enough time. It’s a shame he has lost his job over this. Yes he came across as a khunt in the video, but it shouldn’t have lost him his livelihood.

(15)(7)

Just Another Person

He shouldnt have made those comments but he definitely should not have lost his job over it. And for the managing partner to publicise the firing like that is disgusting.

Looks to me like a sneaky attempt to advertise the firm by asserting all of these values that the firm holds, when really what I see is a firm that initially tells their friend and partner that they have their back before proceeding to stab them in it and humiliate them.

(25)(4)

Anonymous

Having insulted others on internet forums myself, I don’t think I’ll be wanting to join his firm any time soon.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Change of direction might have something to do with this:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/top-lawyer-exposed-hate-filled-10394899

Hard to argue that writing a blog calling Liverpudlians ‘inbred’ is a heat of the moment thing. As a native of Liverpool I’m used to people having some weird ideas about what Liverpool is like but I’m surprised an educated man can really believe half the stuff he wrote. I do think it was a tad harsh outright sacking him though; probably better to get him some help.

(12)(3)

Clive's Brother

(3)(1)

Anonymous

The morality police were very happy to let the West-hating CC trainee keep his job, but they want to ruin this man’s life because of a few daft comments? Madness

(7)(1)

The Hitchslap

Hear hear. That vile Islamist turd was fine to stay on at CC while this lad, despite coming across as a bit of a cock, loses his job?

The world has definitely gone off its rocker. Maybe that crackpot US senator Michelle Bachman is right and the Rapture is drawing near. Should that be the case I’m sure a Jesus-hating sodomite like me is up for one hell of a time.

(3)(1)

Quo Vadis

Many of the worst blunders of the early 2000’s (the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the intervention in Libya and the failure to intervene in Syria) were carried out by utterly mainstream political parties. Many lawyers are members of the Labour and Conservative parties, plenty have stood for them, and none have faced any professional consequences. Neither should this man. His remarks are silly, but they are trivial and delivered in an expressly personal capacity. They should not lead to the loss of his job (and home, and family).

The thing I hate most of all is the blurring of the line between our professional and private lives. Turning up and doing the job is no longer enough. We must have ‘values’, and share them with the firm. Having to work until 1am is not exploitation – it is ‘pulling together’, and ‘supporting the team’. If we have any political views (that is, if we find the time to!), and those political views are not the usual milquetoast Fabian social democracy, we must keep them quiet at all times. We must renounce the right to participate in our democracy. Is that right?

(3)(2)

Anonymous

With a good Irish name like O’Connell it’s inevitable he’s got some Scouse in him.

(3)(3)

Frankly

Do you really expect anything more from Chelsea supporters?

(0)(1)

SodsLaw

Ugh, “sensationally”.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

As a scouser and a Liverpool fan, I can honestly say I wasn’t remotely offended by his comments.
His only crime appears to be an unhealthy interest in all things Liverpool but who can blame him, we are boss!

(5)(2)

Blunt Razor

QUOTE: “They should not lead to the loss of his job (and home, and family).”

Extrapolation-a-go-go!

A law firm he’s a partner in have said he isn’t a partner any more, and all of a sudden his house has been repossessed and his family have disowned him!

For me, there is not enough hysteria on the internet.

(2)(0)

Quo Vadis

You try finding another job, at short notice, after having suffered enormous damage to your reputation, whilst meeting your mortgage payments on an extortionately expensive London townhouse. Then consider how your family will be affected if you were to lose said house. It’s easy to suppose that this man could be fired without suffering any impact on his personal life, but I would bet otherwise.

(3)(2)

Blunt Razor

You’re right.

As an award-winning lawyer, this is definitely the end.

In fact, he’s just been spotted under a bridge near Spitalfields Market. “Spare a copper for an ole barrister wot’s fallen on hard times, gov’nor? And ‘ow did the Chelsea do at the weekend? Me ole wireless ‘as packed in.”

But what really hurts is, he did it to himself…

(2)(1)

Scouser of Counsel

Whilst (for obvious reasons!) I heartily disapprove of what this bloke said, I can’t help but think that stripping him of his job (and therefore livelihood, home, self-respect and future) is disproportionate.

A public ticking off/apology would have been right, but sacking him was overkill, as it often is in these sorts of cases.

A single throwaway comment, even if it is of a racist/sexist/scousist nature should never cost someone their job.

(2)(0)

Blunt Razor

At least he has more time for his bigoted blog.

The way people are talking, you’d think it was a singular moment of weakness.

In fact, there are two things he has more time for: his bigoted blog and supporting Chelsea.

Poor sod.

(1)(1)

Rashid

He did something wrong, and he has received a punishment. This isn’t law.

There’s only ONE type of law. St Albans STREET LAW!

(0)(3)

Anonymous

Regardless of whether he has the technical right to speak his mind on his own time, doing so in such a public manner displayed extremely poor judgment.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Superb entertainment! Pontificating lawyers pontificating against one another! As a lowly copper though, I have to admit if I’d been ‘caught’ expressing such opinions the once (never mind being a serial blogger on the subject) I wouldn’t last five minutes longer in the job, so why should barristers be treated any differently? Poor chap will have to start looking over his CV from one of his London pads before too long…

(3)(0)

Momo

Loads of comments here apportioning blame to various parties: the media, internet warriors, the drunk himself.

Some people can’t see the TRUTH when it’s staring them in the FACE! There’s only ONE reason for this situation; THE FA!!

If Lucas had have been sent off, Chelsea might have got a draw and Clive would still be in a job and free to say whatever offensive things come into his head to whichever interviewer sticks a microphone his way!

But no, Lucas wasn’t sent off, was he? And do you know why? Because the whole world, but especially THE FA have got it in for Chelsea!!*

Clive was right! FREE THE CHELSEA ONE!!!

*for the sake of this argument, ignore what Costa did.

(5)(0)

Hmongbert

Yeah but Liverpool fans are scouse scum.
Chelsea fans are just scum.
James T seems to be very very very tedious.

(0)(0)

Sandman

Goldman Segalla have shown they prefer to throw a colleague under the bus than stand up for their human frailties.

Junior associates and applicants take note – Goldman Segalla will happily thrown you under the bus to protect the firm instead of standing up for you.

(1)(1)

kammy

Unbelievable scenes, Jeff.

(2)(0)

Sir Ponsonby Smythe-Smallpiece

Don’t scouters have a tendency towards petty theft?

(0)(0)

Blunt Razor

Are these petty thieves sent ahead of the main party?

(0)(0)

Mr Reynholm

I’d put him in electric sex pants!

(0)(0)

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