The credibility of safe seat Tory candidate Alan Mak seems to be plumbing new depths on an almost hourly basis. The latest development is that he appears to have grossly misled voters about heading up a “department” at elite Magic Circle law firm Clifford Chance.
The claim was made on his official candidate CV — the prospectus on which local voters selected him as a candidate for Havant at an open primary:
“Solicitor, department head … before 30 at Clifford Chance (world’s biggest law firm)”
While this blog understands Mak made senior associate at the firm, no reference can be found anywhere to him running a department at the multinational — known in the corporate lawyering world as a practice, practice group or practice area.
And with Clifford Chance refusing to comment and Mak himself ignoring everyone, legal bible The Lawyer has now piled in with the definitive word:
“Mak was never a partner at the firm and, as an associate, did not head a department or practice area. He claimed to be a co-founder of the Clifford Chance Foundation. It is not clear whether he held that role.
Making up editorial quotes from the Telegraph is one thing …
… but lying about your professional experience as a solicitor would be quite another.
UPDATE: Mak has finally broken cover to tell The Lawyer that he was “heading up the UK department of a Europe-wide practice group”. But you won’t find this listed on the Clifford Chance website because it, errrr, isn’t actually a department. Mak looks to have been Head of UK Public Policy until he was replaced by one Phillip Souta in Autumn 2013.
While doubtless a skilled professional, the words ‘department’, ‘unit’ or similar are nowhere to be seen on Souta’s commencement press release. The only organisational sub-unit of Clifford Chance mentioned is the firm’s EU Public Policy Group, headed by a partner: “I look forward to working with Oliver and his team.”
Mak and his successor will have worked under the supervision of partners in the public policy practice — quite different from the level of autonomy Mak attempts to imply by describing himself as a former “department head”.
- Alan Mak ‘made up editorial quote’ from Telegraph
- Tory ‘investor’ owns less than 0.15% of cited firms
- Scrapbook investigation is front page of local paper
Image: Alan Mak press centre