'Walter Mitty' barred for life

'Walter Mitty' barred for life

In October 2013 we ran an article on Tom O’Riordan (described in the press as a ‘Walter Mitty’ character), the high flying city lawyer caught lying about his qualification and attainments. In September 2013 a Disciplinary Tribunal ordered that Mr O’Riordan should be suspended from practice for three years. The regulator for barristers, the Bar Standards Board, appealed the sentence believing that a 3 year suspension did not go far enough, particularly given the dishonest nature of the offence and damage to public confidence in the profession. The appeal was upheld and Mr O’Riordan was subsequently disbarred. This case highlights the need for employee screening. Employers cannot afford to expose themselves to possible brand and reputational damage, caused by reckless individuals seeking to gain employment or promotion through deception. In law, “obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception”, is an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. This offence can apply to anyone who obtains employment by deception. By Michael Whittington Director, Head of Employee Screening
Published: 27th January 2014