Eminent criminal defence firm to close
A high-profile London criminal defence firm is closing its doors next month, its managing director has announced.
Karen Todner (pictured) told her Twitter followers on Friday evening that Kaim Todner, which has two offices in London, would be ‘moving towards controlled and orderly closure’ in March.
‘Clients and solicitors placed and cared for. New ventures ahead,’ she said.
‘But for now it’s business as usual,’ Todner told the Gazette.
Todner, who qualified in 1987, has been the firm’s MD since it was established in 1990.
Specialising in criminal law including extradition and fraud, Todner represented ‘Pentagon hacker’ Gary McKinnon, a former computer systems administrator with Asperger’s syndrome, who was suffering from depressive illness.
McKinnon faced up to 60 years in a US prison if found guilty of what one US prosecutor called the ‘biggest military computer hack of all time’.
A decade after Todner came to the case, home secretary Theresa May told parliament in October 2012 that McKinnon would not be extradited to the US.
More recently Kaim Todner made headlines for its part in challenging the government’s procurement process for new criminal legal aid contracts.
The firm is part of the Big Firms Group, whose 37 members carry out around 25% of criminal legal aid work.
The firm was a leading member of the Fair Crime Contracts Alliance, set up to challenge the procurement process via judicial review.
Todner told the Gazette: ‘Given recent developments, the firm’s future is not entirely clear but options for a way forward are being considered.’
The judicial review and procurement law challenges had been a ‘huge distraction’ and had a ‘significant effect on the firm on many levels’.
Justice secretary Michael Gove scrapped the government’s controversial new contracting regime last month, citing litigation from unsuccessful bidders as a factor in his decision.
Gove said: ‘My decision is driven in part by the recognition that the litigation will be time-consuming and costly for all parties, whatever the outcome. I do not want my department and the legal aid market to face months, if not years, of continuing uncertainty, and expensive litigation, while it is heard.’