Who? Chris Corney, 45, commercial litigation partner at City firm Carter Lemon Camerons.
Why is he in the news? Acting for some of the victims of an investment scam who were persuaded to buy plots of land in Brazil on the assurance they would rise in value thanks to the World Cup, 2016 Olympics and the country’s rapid economic growth. In reality, the plots have proved almost worthless, with one investor losing more than £70,000.
The company that sold the plots between 2010 and 2013, London-based property brokers Pantheon Realty Consultants, ceased trading last year following an investigation by the Insolvency Service that led to it being wound up in the High Court on public interest grounds.
The owners have disappeared and the company directors, it has been reported, were Afghani refugees paid to be ‘stooge directors’ who knew nothing about its operation.
No arrests have been made. The BBC has reported that neither the City of London nor Metropolitan police are investigating the matter.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Buying property overseas is increasingly common and so, sadly, is international real estate fraud. The pitches are sophisticated, and the victims are often experienced investors. Curiously, it often seems that people are less vigilant buying property thousands of miles away than they would be buying the house across the street.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘It was an accident, but I have never looked back. I am rarely bored, and making a recovery for a client is still tremendously satisfying.’
Career high: ‘Succeeding in any compensation claim against a major financial institution – even if such cases are normally bound up in confidentiality clauses.’
Career low: ‘Banging on the locked door of a neighbouring law firm at 4.28pm to get an affidavit sworn to comply with an unless order, which was to expire at 4.30pm, to keep my client out of jail. I was more stressed than him, but then he had been in far stickier situations before.’