Re: Our Client: David Rae
We have recently been instructed by David Rae and write with reference to your email to our client at 2 am yesterday morning, Sunday 28 October. Please note that this response is on behalf of Mr Rae and we understand that Mr Schools will be writing to you separately.
To expect a response to such serious allegations relating to criminal misconduct within one working day is unreasonable. We are not therefore in a position to deal fully with each of your queries but will endeavour to respond to the overall thrust and to give instances of why your agenda in respect of our client is entirely misguided. In any event, your questions and conduct to date indicate that you have already decided that the allegations can be justified regardless of the true facts.
In this regard, we note that you published a piece on October 27th (before writing to our client) indicating that you would publish an article regarding “impropriety at the Fund” and referring to “fraud by insiders”. It is apparent, therefore, that your article has been in preparation for a number of days but you do not consider that our client should be afforded a proper opportunity to respond. You either therefore assumed that whatever our client would say would not affect your article or had otherwise decided that it would be ignored. In addition, we note that you envisage publishing your full article possibly within one hour of receipt of our client’s response. This again underlines that you have no genuine intention of publishing an article which is the product of responsible and investigative journalism. The manner in which you are dealing with our client is more akin to a witch-hunt than responsible journalistic investigation.
The fact that you have written to both Mr Schools and our client in the same email and therefore in the same terms emphasises how unclear you are to the allegations and suggests you are fishing for anything which may support the story you intend to publish.
Further, please note that it is our client’s belief that the allegations emanate from an individual and/ or individuals with a vendetta. In circumstances where you are making allegations of fraud against our client we urge that you take a cautious approach with regards the motivation and credibility of the source(s) and information being provided to you. You will be aware of your obligation to take steps to verify each and every allegation you intend to publish; that you should be reliant on a number of sources and that any documentation you seek to rely upon is accurate. To publish any article otherwise would be grossly irresponsible.
In respect of the allegations you have put to our client we note that you have already published defamatory allegations concerning the Axiom Legal Financing Fund (“the Axiom Fund”) which alleged financial impropriety. We note that you sought to support those allegations as to secretive financial arrangement through predominantly relying upon publicly available documents. In this respect, we note that you again intend to publish similar allegations concerned payments to “insiders”. We are taking our client’s instructions in respect of the first article and all our client’s rights are reserved, generally.
The further allegations which you intend to publish (irrespective of our client’s response) and those you are already publishing convey the highly defamatory meaning that our client has, inter alia, been stripping out substantial sums from the Axiom Fund which is now insolvent as a result of our client’s actions; and that our client has been complicit in a plan to provide false information to the Fund’s professional advisors. For the avoidance of doubt, such allegations are false and these represent grave libels for our client. In the event that you publish any such allegations notwithstanding this clear legal notice then please note that we anticipate being instructed to issue proceedings for libel without further notice which we will serve upon you at the earliest opportunity. Further, our client will consider a claim for financial loss caused by publication of such serious and libellous allegations against him.
In respect of a number of the other allegations, we simply do not understand the basis for the same. In order to assist us to respond to them, please set out the following: –
- You suggest that our client has been involved in some way in providing false information to the Fund’s professional advisors. Please inform us with detail as to what information has allegedly been provided, to whom and when. You will appreciate that our client cannot address an allegation without being provided with details of the same.
- You suggest that loans have been paid by Axiom to British law firms conditional on payments to “insiders”. Please inform us of the nature of these payments and as to the “insiders” to whom you refer. Likewise, please provide us with details as to the discussions which you suggest may have been held in which Axiom suggested funding would be withheld if such payments were not made.
In respect of the allegations to which our client is able to respond, we can inform you that our client provided consultancy services to Ashton Fox Solicitors. However, when our client commenced work with the investment management team he ended such consultancy agreements so as to avoid the risks of conflict.
For the avoidance of doubt, our client relies upon the denial of wrongdoing set out above. We look forward to your prompt response to our queries above so that we may provide you with our client’s full response. In the absence of that, we do not consider that you have given our client a meaningful opportunity to comment and would rely on that in any legal action our client takes.
All our client’s rights are reserved.