Who? Daniel Godden, 35, partner in the serious fraud team at London firm Hodge Jones & Allen.
Why is he in the news? He acted for a mother arrested after alerting education regulator Ofsted to alleged abuse at her son’s Kent boarding school.
Georgina Halford-Hall was arrested in June 2014 and charged in February 2015 with handling stolen goods and breaching the Data Protection Act. Both offences related to the medical centre admissions and discharge book at the Duke of York military school in Dover, which she had acquired and handed to Ofsted. Her concern was that the book showed that the school imposed ‘custodials’ – in effect, solitary confinement – as a punishment for pupils.
Seven police officers, without a warrant, searched Halford-Hall’s house. She was then detained for six hours before being interviewed and bailed.
The Crown Prosecution Service told Canterbury Crown Court on 22 June that the case would be dropped.
A spokesman for the school said: ‘Each and every allegation has been subject to forensic examination by a team of seven Ofsted inspectors who found no substance in them and graded the school “good” in every category. The school cannot comment on the CPS’s decision as this is a police matter.’
Thoughts on the case: ‘This prosecution should never have occurred. It was clear from the outset that my client’s actions were in the public interest.’
Dealing with the media: ‘A television company has promised to investigate the case further, which will raise its profile and ask serious questions.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘The law sets intellectual and strategic challenges, which is stimulating. Also, I like to win.’
Career high: ‘It’s impossible to isolate one particular instance because I’ve been instructed in a number of complex and high-profile cases, such as the Harmondsworth immigration removal centre disturbances, confiscation proceedings against Lord Hanningfield [found guilty of claiming excessive parliamentary expenses] and one of the [Metropolitan Police commander] Ali Dizaei appeals.’
Career low: ‘I’d been qualified six months when I found myself mistakenly accused of perverting the course of justice.’