Ex-Paul Hastings Partner Out Over Faked Credentials
D. Thomas O'Riordan, a former London-based Paul Hastings litigation partner, has left the firm following his suspension from the bar by a U.K. regulator that determined he had falsified his resumé, a firm spokesman confirmed Friday.
The U.K. Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service on Monday issued a three-year suspension [PDF] to O'Riordan—who joined Paul Hastings as a partner in a group that lateraled over from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in 2009—after it was revealed that he had lied about the education and bar qualifications he listed on his firm bio between 2007 and 2012. O'Riordan's deception was apparently discovered by an unnamed U.K. firm to which the lawyer had submitted a falsified resumé last November. The news of O'Riordan's suspension first broke on the U.K. legal blog RollOnFriday.
O'Riordan stepped down from the Paul Hastings partnership last year to resume work as a barrister while consulting Paul Hastings on a part-time basis, a source with knowledge of the situation tells The Am Law Daily.
Among O'Riordan's exaggerations were claims that he held multiple degrees from Oxford University and a master's degree from Harvard University, and that he was a member of both the New York and Irish Bars, according to Monday's ruling. In fact, O'Riordan—who became a member of the Bar of England and Wales in 1993—studied law at the University of East Anglia (though Monday's ruling said he lied about receiving first-class honors from that school) and took his Bar Finals at Inns of Court School of Law, according to a cached profile on the Paul Hastings website that has been removed.
Contacted for comment, a Paul Hastings spokesman issued the following statement to The Am Law Daily: "We learned on Wednesday that a consultant to the London office, Tom O'Riordan, has, in the past, exaggerated his academic qualification. Mr. O'Riordan is a barrister and his professional body, the Bar Standards Board, has successfully brought disciplinary proceedings against him. Mr. O'Riordan left the firm on Wednesday with immediate effect."
O'Riordan's previous work includes stints as a barrister with Quadrant Chambers and 4-5 Gray's Inn Square. He has also held various in-house legal roles with banks such as Nomura, Sumitomo Finance International, and Republic National Bank of New York, which HSBC acquired in 1999. O'Riordan joined Cadwalader in London as a partner in 2008 before joining Paul Hastings with six other partners the following year. A Cadwalader spokesman did not respond to The Am Law Daily's request for comment.