Not ideal when you’re angling for a training contract
The top human rights firm cleared last month over Iraq murder compensation claims has been hit by yet more controversy after two of its paralegals were accused of “touting” for business among Grenfell Tower fire victims.
The names of Leigh Day training contract hopefuls Harnita Rai and Sejal Sachania were found on a poster offering free legal support to “kick-start any potential insurance claims and review any complex documents” that was located near the scene of last month’s tragic fire, The Times reported on its front page on Saturday.
A disclaimer on the poster apparently stated that although the pair were acting for free, a third party “may charge for their services”.
Reacting quickly to the allegations, Leigh Day immediately suspended the pair and launched an investigation, before tweeting this statement:
Statement from Leigh Day in relation to the allegations in The Times today regarding the Grenfell Tragedy pic.twitter.com/l4EK3XaHG2
— Leigh Day (@LeighDay_Law) July 8, 2017
Solicitors are prohibited from touting for business. In relation to the practice, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) states on its website:
Solicitors and their agents are banned by the Code of Conduct from proactively approaching potential clients in person in a bid to increase business. Marketing strategies should be non-intrusive, a rule that also bans cold calling.
However, the SRA doesn’t regulate paralegals or trainees, whose oversight is something of a grey area.
Significantly, it is being reported that the poster in question did not contain official Leigh Day contact details for Rai and Sachania, but rather listed non-work email addresses.
Legal Cheek has been attempting to get in contact with the pair, but they have understandably gone to ground, even removing their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. The last recorded tweet featuring either is by The Times journalist who broke the story, Sean O’Neill, seeking to get in touch with Rai.
@harnitarai could we speak? DM?
— Sean O'Neill (@TimesONeill) July 6, 2017
Iraq torture case: Leigh Day cleared of ALL misconduct following longest solicitor disciplinary tribunal in history [Legal Cheek]
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