The exposing of City lawyer Dennis O’Riordan as bogus should send shockwaves through every compliance department of every bank.
Putting in hours at banks like Nomura, Sumitomo Finance and rising to become head of legal and tax at Republic National Bank of New York it was only years later that less lax legal eagle eyes at an unnamed barrister’s firm he applied to join spotted he had fabricated claims in his CV.
I am told some in the City of London regularly bend reality in claims about their skills in their CV and paint unsubstantiated little pictures with meaningless jargon on their LinkedIn pages. Shame on them!
But when it is a stream of claims about graduating from Oxford, Harvard and being awarded an Eldon Scholarship he has made since 2007 shouldn’t those basic details be verified with production of the diplomas and checks on whether he actually attended those institutions?
Fellow lawyers have only now vented their doubts about his qualifications after his release by firm Paul Hastings.
Others have said that clients were very satisfied with his work for them.
Would that be the same satisfaction with which managers praised Nick Leeson’s portfolio gains months before he brought down Barings Bank in 1995?
While there is no evidence nor suggestion that O’Riordan had damaged clients’ interests or caused them material losses there is reason to be shaken by his alleged dishonesty.
And it remains to be seen whether counsel he provided anyone on a regulatory matter, on approving a tax-efficient investment vehicle or settling a compensation claim will actually stand up sound in five years or when a new financial crisis erupts.
It is indeed remarkable and shocking that banks did not verify their job applicant sooner and it underlines the instability of banks who may have hired traders or risk controllers on the same basis.