If law firms were public companies with shareholders, they would likely be sued by shareholders and their leaders sent packing. All too often they have been found to be easily hoodwinked out of their or client money by employees. Those employees range from secretary to partner. The most recent instance, at least which has reached the media, is the chief information officer who embezzled almost a million dollars from Mayer Brown in Chicago.
The CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that yesterday former CIO at Mayer Brown David Tresch, 51, had been arrested for allegedly playing invoice games. Those included receiving kickbacks from a vendor and then simply billing for work that was never done and pocketing it. He was employed by the company since 2004.
Why aren't there effective systems in-place in law firms, much like there are in public companies, to identify signs of fraud and other funny monetary business? Is it that the code of a professional services entity like a law firm is to not spy on each other's financial transactions? But lawyers, of all people, should be aware of the dark side of human nature. How is it that too many lawyers "borrow" from client funds? This crime is so common that it has been part of the plot line on "The Good Wife."