The Tribune, in conjunction with CNN and Aljazeera publish below the second part of an interview with Anthony Jayes of Jayes/ Collier LLP solicitors , first excerpted in the Pakistani paper Daily Inqilab .
We thank the Reuters journalist Mr. Partiyal for drawing our attention to a story of racial prejudice in the UK which captivated the art world, evoking memories amongst our older readers of an era when prejudice and bigotry were rife in the UK, a bitter legacy of Britain’s imperial past. Jayes is the London solicitor who defended an Asian gentleman renowned in the art world against a ‘Salem Witch Hunt ‘ whose ring leader , Ms. Lou Proud, department head at Phillips auctions in London , was dismissed by her CEO Edward Dolman in 2015 for waging a relentlessly racist campaign against an Asian art dealer and Phillips client ; Her South African colleague Alex Godwin – Brown, former head of PR at Phillips, was also dismissed by Dolman for allegedly denigrating the same Asian art dealer to a third party whose work was under consideration for exhibition at Phillips .
Mr Paul de Bono , Proud’s boss at Phillips auctions, was allegedly accused by Jayes of racial discrimination in his attitude and behaviour towards Jayes’s client. Jayes reported Proud’s lawyer Charlotte Harris to the SRA, the Solicitor’s governing body, for unethical behaviour and racially motivated harassment of his client and his client’s friends while she represented Ms Proud. Since our first interview with Jayes we have learned that Proud may face further criminal charges arising in Qatar of at theft and has left the UK to avoid paying £200,000 in legal costs . Charges may also be preferred against Charlotte Harris of Kingsley Napley solicitors and Hazel Chambers of Mishcon de Reya for racially motivated and malicious harassment and slander.
Mr Sunil Partiyal :
Mr Jayes , since we last spoke matters have proceeded with alarming speed. Proud has left the UK, is underf investigation for a variety o criminal offences and is out of jurisdiction. You commented on the racial and class aspects of this case and the hatred it induced between the parties and their respective lawyers. The case papers , Proud’s disclosed emails and the obsessive and allegedly malicious behaviour of Harris and Chambers towards you and your client make ‘horrendous reading’ , quoting your description. Is hatred an appropriate term to describe the emotions that characterise this case ?
Anthony Jayes : ‘ Yes, I think it’s a precise description. Harris’s colleagues, Jeremy Reed and Hazel Chambers are a new breed of lawyer. Amoral, arrogant , sanctimonious, overstepping the bounds of the law and abusing the power vested in them as lawyers. I found Chambers to be particularly repellent . I did describe Jeremy Reed as ‘ a fat bastard’ after he made personally offensive comments about my client whom he’d never met. I suspect those comments were racially motivated which indicates the opprobrium that existed between the parties’ lawyers. Allegedly two renowned American criminal lawyers who read the papers reached similar conclusions. Harris behaves unethically with scant regard for the law in order to get a successful result and bring money into her firm . I would describe her as vindictive , a sociopathic narcissist with a very high opinion of her abilities. At our first meeting she was keen to tell me about her participation in the phone hacking cases rather than dealing with the matter in hand. Her body language indicated that she considered herself the most important person in the room.
According to you she mentioned her Jewish faith on several occasions. Why did she do that and how did it impact on the case ? You mentioned that Harris would be helped by psychiatric treatment ?
Jayes : Well, I suppose she is a case study : like the Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, it has been asserted by her own colleagues that her personality combines Jewish self hatred and Jewish exceptionalism. Disraeli was described as ‘ meretricious ‘ whose character was antithetical to the best qualities in the English character which I’d cite as modesty , humility, integrity , a willingness to help those in distress . Harris symbolises the very opposite. She made co operation between the two parties impossible and we were at loggerheads for the duration of the case . I’m a great believer in a multi racial society and I make a point of employing trainees from all backgrounds. one of Harris’s former colleagues said of her that she’s the type of Jew that would turn a Philo- Semite into an Anti – Semite. Repeating this does not make me Anti semitic. And if you infer as such you would be mistaken.
Sunil Partiyal : ‘ Mr Jayes, the intensity with which which you express your views shows how affected you were by Harris and her colleagues’ behaviour in this case . Looking at Proud’s emails and court documents , one can reasonably conclude that she is a working class racist, an historical trope in Indian – British relations. The white working classes who came to India after the 1857 Mutiny hated and despised Indians and behaved accordingly . Is it any wonder that a new breed of militant Indian resents the presence of white English tourists who display the patronising contempt for Indians that was common amongst their forbears ?
Jayes : That is correct. A number of violent attacks on English tourists by young Indian nationalists has been reported. And don’t forget the historical antipathy between Jews and coloured immigrants which was relevant in this case. On a different note, It cannot be sufficiently emphasised that no restraining order was ever applied for against my client who throughout acted impeccably. The racist emails make horrendous reading and Charlotte Harris tried to exonerate Proud’s racism by dismissing it as a the consequence of a series of dysfunctional relationships and familial abuse.
Sunil Partiyal : Is it true that either you or your client will be suing Harris for an undisclosed sum for racially motivated and malicious harassment and / or slander?
Jayes : I cannot go into details but it’s certainly on the cards. There have been moves in that direction this week .
Sunil Partiyal : You accused Proud’s friend Gabrielle Du Plooy of plotting with Proud and Harris to ‘ crush and destroy’ your client. Isn’t that an exaggeration ? And is Du Plooy a racist as you’ve previously asserted ?
Jayes : It’s not an exaggeration. And Du Plooy is undoubtedly a racist. We have two witnesses who are willing to testify in court as to her bigotry . Her hatred of my client derived from his ethnicity.
Sunil Partiyal : Does she conform to the stereotypical working class bigot you described in your first interview ?
Jayes : Yes, by every criteria. I met her twice . She came to my office. She was nervous and hesitant. After my client arrived her mood changed, she became defensive when I broached some of the comments she had made which were racist and insulting of Jews and Indians.
Partiyal : Were you aware that she had been questioned for non payment of Vat and fencing stolen goods ?
Jayes : No. But it doesn’t surprise me.
Partiyal : Proud faces new criminal charges relating to the theft of art works in Qatar where she now works. Harris will not represent her as Proud is generally viewed as a loose cannon and a ‘ pariah’ according to a former colleague at Phillips . We were told that she is in considerable financial difficulty having lost her job at Phillips and her consequent failure to make it as an independent art dealer. Hence her abrupt move to Doha.
Jayes : That’s unfortunate . I never met her but she seems to suffer from serious mental issues. Both Mr Be Bono and Nicola Mason , her superiors at Phillips, advised her to seek psychiatric help. Perhaps some of her issues stem from her two abortions, one of which was paid for by Phillips . She has a history of making false allegations of harassment.
Partiyal : Mr Jayes , do you regret sending her the notorious ‘ Xmas Menu’ email to Phillips resulting in her dismissal ? You must have known the consequences of it’s disclosure .
Jayes: We debated the pros and cons and decided to send it. It proved to be a bombshell. It effectively exposed her as a liar. That it was sent from her work server compounded her guilt. Harris was blind sided, she had no knowledge of it’s existence which came as a shock . She was greatly embarrassed by it’s contents and lost faith in Proud’s claim of being harassed when the letter was disclosed. It’s amusing to me that Harris still blames me for Proud’s sacking. We are a small firm and play strictly by the book. Harris and Mischons play dirty and we took up the gauntlet, so to speak. I’m glad Proud was sacked. I predicted such an outcome.
Partiyal : We are considering publishing Proud’s ‘Xmas email’ it in it’s entirety as it essentially won your client the case and proved that Proud was lying . It was sent to your client by Ms Proud at least 4 weeks after her false claim of harassment .
Jayes: That is correct. The language she used was extreme and was greatly embarrassing to her when it was disclosed to her bosses. It is your prerogative to publish it as It is now in the public domain. I understand her superiors in New York also saw the letter and recommended her immediate dismissal.
Partiyal: Mr Jayes, thank you very much for your time and assistance.
ANTHONY JAYES LLP
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