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Law firm partner struck off after headbutting EastEnders star’s father in the High Court

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Philip Saunders handed 18-month suspended sentence for ABH last year

CCTV footage captures the moment Philip Saunders headbutted Mohammad Reza Ghadami

A law firm partner who headbutted a litigant-in-person at the High Court’s Rolls Building has been removed from the profession.

Last year, property law specialist Philip Saunders was handed an 18-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, after attacking property developer Mohammad Reza Ghadami. The fracas left Ghadami — whose son Davood plays Kush in the BBC soap EastEnders — with a broken nose and requiring treatment under general anaesthetic.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has now confirmed that Saunders, formerly of London-based law firm Bearman Saunders, has been struck off the roll and ordered to pay costs of £4,611. Finding that Saunders had failed to act with integrity, the SDT said:

“We have considered carefully what the behaviour of Mr Saunders demonstrates, on that unhappy day, and we accept the submissions of both persons that a single act may constitute a lack of integrity.”

During the three-hour SDT hearing, Saunders claimed he had lost his temper after Ghadami made a “vile anti-Semitic comment”, but did not provide further details of the exact words allegedly used. He added: “I am an observant religious Jew. I have a high moral standard.”

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At the time of the incident, incredible CCTV footage (embedded below) from inside London’s Commercial Court surfaced on YouTube appearing to show Ghadami swing his briefcase between Saunders’ legs. The experienced solicitor can be seen adjusting his feet before appearing to headbutt Ghadami in the face.

Saunders was not acting in his capacity as a solicitor at the time but was embroiled in a £100 million legal dispute with litigant-in-person Ghadami. The 69-year-old was eventually found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Sentencing Saunders at Inner London Crown Court, recorder Steven Gasztowicz QC said:

“The offence was committed in a High Court building, where any litigant is entitled to feel safe, however annoying he may be and whatever is going on between you. It was committed by someone who was a solicitor, who is trusted to act properly in such buildings”

Saunders — who had been practising as a solicitor for more than 40 years — was also handed a five-year restraining order, a four-month curfew, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, and pay £5,000 prosecution costs.

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13 Comments

Bill Bailey

Doof…. doof… d d d d…

🎼 Everyone is going to die…🎶

(11)(0)

The Brown Knight

BUSH DOOF

(1)(0)

Anonymous

How do you have an £100 million dispute with a litigant-in-person?!

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Sounds like the start of a lame christmas cracker joke.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

You’ve clearly never been sued in your personal capacity by a freeman on the land!

(8)(1)

Freeman on the land

I do not recognise your authority.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I am John of the Family Smith.

Now show me your oath!

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Amazing how they respect the law when then are pursuing others!

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is it fair to say it looks like there was a fight _ the sort of fight you have in a court corridor when you think there are no witnesses , but there could be any minute. One party tries to hit the balls of the other with his briefcase, which would have winded him. He gets stopped from going any further , proportionately, with a headbutt. The proportion is corroborated by the fact that the injury is comparable to a briefcase in the balls, the losing party is only walking wounded by the headbutt and walks away, and the headbutter, seeking to do only what is necessary, does nothing more.

I wonder if the high court called the police, or the guy who lost the fight. Anyone know Please?

(6)(0)

Jamie Vardy

Chat shit, get banged.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

I hear you’re having a party. What should I bring?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Your pal Charlie

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I met Saunders who comes from English family from Addiscombe Croydon at law firm where he was still an articled clerk. We married and he took time off and carried on his part two’s whilst I carried on working to support us including my 8 year old daughter. He qualified as solicitor and started work in East end of London whilst I changed jobs and went to work in chambers in the Temple. I found out he was having affair with Jewish client who had consulted him for divorce. Shortly after he left me and told me he was converting to Judaism. I was made homeless as couldn’t afford mortgage on my own. I divorced him. I suffered anorexia nervosa 4 times over years and never got over experience. I don’t agree that such person can be described as decent after his callous treatment. Very ungrateful and disrespectful. He lives in affluent Maida Vale.. He never gave thought about the problems and trauma we suffered for years

(1)(2)

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