You might remember that, some months ago, we received a solicitors’ letter from the law firm, Dean and Dean. The letter related to an article we carried, relating to the fugitive Hamas commander, Mohammed Sawalha.
The senior partner of Dean and Dean has made the front page of the Daily Mail today. This is why:
Today, in an extraordinary and disturbing twist, the Daily Mail can reveal that the flamboyant lawyer at the centre of the campaign which is tearing Scotland Yard apart is a convicted conman with suspect legal qualifications.
Dr Shahrokh Mireskandari – who acts for Mr Ghaffur, Miss Rehman and also represents Commander Ali Dizaei who has been a repeated thorn in the side of his employers – has a criminal conviction for fraud and obtained his law degree from a discredited ‘mail drop’ university in Hawaii.
In addition, we can reveal that he is currently at the centre of a worldwide inquiry into his past by the UK solicitors’ watchdog.
Last night Mireskandari – who has publicly vowed to destroy Sir Ian’s ‘golden circle’ of white officers – refused to comment when confronted with questions about his past, including a series of allegations which will send shock waves through the legal establishment.
The Mail can reveal that Mireskandari:
- Is being investigated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority after doubts were raised over his legal qualifications.
- Was convicted of a telemarketing fraud in California in 1991. He was given three years’ probation, sentenced to three months on a ‘criminal justice work release programme’, forced to live a halfway hostel with fellow convicts and ordered to pay back nearly $7,000 to his known victims.
- Acquired his American legal degree from a tinpot ‘university’ run from a small office in Hawaii, which was shut down over fears it was peddling bogus qualifications.
- Is the subject of a number of complaints from former clients who claim he charges vastly inflated fees.
Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable, who has campaigned on behalf of a constituent involved in a marathon dispute with Mireskandari, said: ‘This story is a shocking indictment of the failure of the legal profession to discipline its members and protect consumers.
‘I have been trying for four years to get this matter properly investigated by the Law Society, Legal Services Ombudsman and the Legal Complaints Service.
‘It has required the intervention of a national newspaper to get it properly investigated.’
Readers will be glad to hear that we’ve heard nothing from Dean and Dean since their first letter.
Judging from Dean and Dean’s reputation, the bill for that one letter may well have bankrupted poor Mr Sawalha.
Hat tip: Marcus L