If the police come knocking at your door, should worried HNWs call their criminal lawyer or their reputation lawyer first? Your freedom and reputation may depend on your decision.
Unsurprisingly, each one often thinks they should have the first claim to leading your response. Robert Brown of Corker Binning, who has acted for Russians and Rolling Stones, says the criminal lawyer must come first: ‘If a client, whether it’s a corporate or an individual, is at risk of any investigation which might have a criminal element in it, that person has got to give their priority – their urgent priority – to the criminal issue. Forget all the rest.’
However, HNWs can be wary of involving a criminal lawyer because it acknowledges that there may be a serious problem. ‘It’s partly because people don’t think about the criminal aspect – they’re too frightened of it, or they think it’s going to be too complicated an issue, there’s going to be a lot of law involved, and as soon as they start getting involved with criminal lawyers they think they’re going to be tainted,’ he says. ‘It’s like going to the dentist – it’s only going to become more painful in the long-term if you don’t face the problem.’
Robert Brown is conciliatory when asked what would happen if a client contacted their reputation manager first, yet sure on the need for precedence: ‘I suppose it can be sensible to contact the media law firm first – but what the media law firm has to realize is that it’s the criminal issue that has to take priority.’
The full article can be read in the January edition of Spear’s Magazine.
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