The access that law office with rich clients need to Office migration officials is coming under analysis after details emerged of a civil servant having actually been implicated of launching unauthorised info about citizenship applications.
Mick Cain, a senior caseworker who worked on citizenship applications at the Home Office, was investigated in 2016 by the department’s anti-corruption unit for presumably providing external suggestions in return for cash.
Information of the case have actually never ever been made public, however an investigation by the Guardian suggests it raises serious concerns about his relationship at the time with a variety of leading London law office.
One such company is Mishcon de Reya, whose relationship with Cain is now in the spotlight. Cain got ₤ 1,000 for 2 training sessions he gave at Mishcon de Reya and was likewise taken to lunch and provided champagne by Kamal Rahman, a senior partner at the firm.
Legal representatives for Mishcon de Reya strongly rejected misdeed by Rahman or the firm, and stated there was nothing uncommon or improper about the relationship its solicitors established with the official. They said other law office had “comparable professional relationships” with Cain.
In November 2016, Cain was apprehended on suspicion of offences including misconduct in public workplace and computer system abuse, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decreased to bring charges against him. His attorney stated the CPS had considered there was insufficient evidence.
According to two sources knowledgeable about his case, Cain resigned from the Home Office before its own separate internal examination had actually concluded. A federal government source stated it was declared that Cain had acted in “breach of the civil service code”. Another source said Cain had relationships with “the big” immigration law practice in London, recommending them “how to make finest cases for their customers”.
Numerous sources knowledgeable about Mishcon de Reya’s migration department said that Rahman and solicitors in her team often got guidance and details from Cain.
Sources who worked at the company stated they had concerns about a few of the contacts with Cain, which are alleged to have gone beyond what may be considered to be routine interactions between migration caseworkers and solicitors submitting applications for their customers.
The sources, who talked to the Guardian on condition of privacy, stated Cain was paid by Mishcon de Reya after attending its offices in central London to supply training sessions for its solicitors.
” The Office did not know that a person was offering private training or getting paid to do so,” a government source said. “It’s not standard procedure for Office authorities to be spent for providing training on a private basis.”
Mischon de Reya’s legal representatives confirmed Cain was paid ₤ 500 for each session however said there was absolutely nothing improper about the arrangement.
A source with direct knowledge of the sessions said Cain offered the company with an internal Home Office document about how authorities worked out discretion in deciding applications.
2 sources stated that Rahman kept a “relationship” with Cain over many years and on events provided him with gifts. They said Rahman regularly spoke with Cain and encouraged solicitors in her department to contact him by phone instead of email. Both sources said Rahman had Cain’s individual mobile number.
Mishcon de Reya’s legal representatives stated there was “absolutely nothing or unusual or inappropriate” about any of its contacts with Home Office staff members.
They said Rahman does not recall suggesting her team utilize any specific mode of communication with Cain. They stated she had 2 meals with Cain– a lunch in 2005 and a “organization supper” in 2016– and sent out one of his relative a DVD as a caring gesture after finding she was seriously ill. They included Rahman likewise when sent Cain and another Home Office immigration authorities a bottle of champagne, however insisted it was not planned as a temptation.
A firm expert, who said they talked about immigration and citizenship applications with Cain on numerous celebrations, declared he would provide recommendations on how to improve the possibilities of their clients’ applications, although he was not designated to their cases.
According to this individual, Cain also often offered the company with inside information about internal Home Office treatments and shared details from its computer systems, consisting of about their client’s applications. Numerous sources stated Cain advised the company on applications for citizenship that did not fully please appropriate requirements, but which the Home Office might exercise discretion on to enable exceptions.
A representative for the Home Office firmly insisted “no applications were compromised or accelerated”. He decreased to state whether its investigation thought about Cain’s supposed interactions with Mishcon.
” We have a zero-tolerance policy against misconduct in public workplace. When we looked out to claims of misconduct, our internal examinations unit acted promptly to apprehend this employee and passed his info to the CPS. The CPS declined to charge– they are independent and we had no influence on their choice.”
He included: “We carried out an extensive internal examination into whether this individual had actually stopped working to stick to the civil service standard procedure. We are confident no applications were wrongly granted as a result of this person’s actions and they no longer work for the Office.”
Legal representatives for Mishcon de Reya suggested the claims about the company originated from a single previous staff member who they declared was maliciously encouraged. They stated the previous employee’s grievances had actually been the subject of an independent external examination that concluded they were “either unverified or … did not trigger any more regulative reporting responsibilities”.
They stated Mishcon de Reya and Rahman were “to the very best of their knowledge” never provided with personal internal Home Office files, had no knowledge of the nature of Cain’s access to Office computer systems, and did not demand that he improperly access information about their customers.
Mishcon de Reya’s lawyers denied the firm had actually engaged in any improper conduct with Cain “in order to induce him … into helping to secure favourable decisions on applications”. They said it was industry practice for migration attorneys to have contacts within the Home Office and interact with its authorities by phone.
They included that applications sent to the Home Office by Mishcon de Reya were not identified by Cain but by other caseworkers.
The Guardian comprehends that a former solicitor at the firm has actually recently raised concerns about Mishcon de Reya’s relationship with Cain with the Solicitors Guideline Authority (SRA), which it is understood has released an examination.
The SRA decreased to comment on any examination prompted by the grievance, which is understood to likewise consist of allegations of bullying and homophobia.
” We do not usually confirm or deny if we have actually received a complaint about a solicitor or firm,” a representative said. “It is only if action is essential that it ends up being a matter of public record. If we do get problems, then we will look at the evidence given to us prior to picking next steps.”
It is not uncommon for SRA examinations to conclude that no rules were breached. Mishcon de Reya’s attorneys stressed the SRA has made no negative findings versus the firm or Rahman.
Cain did not respond to the Guardian’s detailed concerns. His lawyer said: “All matters were examined and the decision was no further action.”
Mishcon is one of the UK’s most distinguished law firms, well-known for representing high-profile clients. Rahman, who has actually run the firm’s immigration practice for a minimum of a decade, is among the UK’s leading migration solicitors. According to the firm’s site, her practice “focuses on acquiring expedited and remarkable choices on behalf of her very exceptional clients”.
Customers often have actually included high net worth individuals, Hollywood celebs and several “politically exposed individuals”, referred to as Peps, according to numerous sources knowledgeable about the firm’s work. 2 sources stated the company has actually charged unusually big charges by market standards– as much as ₤ 50,000, plus a success fee of a more ₤ 50,000.
Mishcon de Reya’s legal representatives said their immigration service for high net worth people “in uncommon scenarios” commands a premium their clients want to pay.