A high-flying City lawyer has agreed to reimburse his former firm more than £24,000 after a series of inappropriate expenses claims were found.
Igor Krivoshekov, formerly a partner with US firm Akin Gump based at its London office, was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month after admitting to acting dishonestly.
He was specifically charged by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with submitting expenses claims and taxi receipts worth around £1,000 between December 2016 and June 2018. It was agreed by the solicitor that he had control over his expenses and would submit receipts to his assistant with handwritten notes indicating the claimed business purpose. Misconduct was uncovered in May 2018 when the firm undertook a preliminary investigation into his expense submissions, and he resigned from the partnership shortly after.
The tribunal judgment also states that Krivoshekov, admitted in England and Wales in 2012 after practising in Illinois since 1997, was subject to a more extensive review of all expenses after his departure from the firm.
At a further meeting with the firm, it was presented to him that during his 18 months he had claimed for almost £46,000, with Akin Gump requesting that he reimburse it £24,650.
Examples of claims provided by the firm to the SRA included three dinners, the most expensive worth £400, purportedly with a client but where the client was not in fact present.
In a letter from his American lawyers to the Illinois Bar, it was stated that Krivoshekov ‘acknowledged and regrets’ submitting ‘certain personal expenses for firm reimbursement’.
The amount of £24,650 was reimbursed to the firm through a deduction from the capital otherwise due to him after resigning from partnership.
In mitigation, Krivoshekov cited health issues which manifested themselves in irrational behaviour. In hindsight, his illness impacted his judgement and contributed to his making poor decisions. Krivoshekov agreed to pay the SRA’s £3,000 costs.
In a statement released when the allegations were published, Akin Gump said it was ‘deeply troubled’ by the matter and took steps to thoroughly investigate Krivoshekov’s conduct before obtaining his resignation. No client was prejudiced by his conduct, and the firm said it made appropriate reports to the SRA and other authorities.
The statement added: ‘Honesty and integrity are of paramount importance at Akin Gump.’