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City law firm Hogan Lovells hits back at Lord Hain over South Africa allegations

City law firm Hogan Lovells hits back at Lord Hain over South Africa allegations

CAPE TWON: Former Labour minister and veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Lord Peter Hain wrote to legal watchdog the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA) on Friday demanding an inquiry into the firm’s conduct in relation to its report into a South African government money laundering scandal. The accusations stem from a 2016 report that Hogan Lovells produced for tax body the South African Revenue Services (SARS) into alleged financial misconduct by its deputy chief Jonas Makwakwa and his girlfriend Kelly-Ann Elskie. Hain, who is expected to raise a question on the issue in the House of Lords on Monday, alleges that the law firm missed key evidence of wrongdoing in its report. Hogan Lovells hit back calling Hain’s accusations “unfounded” and adding that they “reflect a lack of understanding of the work we were asked to carry out”.

The firm’s spokesperson also criticised Hain for not giving it a chance to comment on the allegations. It is disappointing that Lord Hain did not contact us about our work for SARS in advance of his statement,” the spokesperson said. Hogan Lovells is the latest advisory firm to get sucked into the corruption scandals swirling around South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma and his wealthy associates the Gupta family.

PR firm Bell Pottinger plunged into administration in September after a report by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills found that its work for the Gupta family’s Oakbay Capital “was potentially racially divisive and/or potentially offensive and was created in breach of relevant ethical principles.”