A LAWYER who defended bra tycoon Michelle Mone over her PPE scandal may find himself involved in a probe by the solicitors’ regulator.
Media lawyer Jonathan Coad – who has represented stars including Noel Edmonds, Heston Blumenthal and Geri Horner – was forced into a humiliating “unqualified apology” this week for misleading journalists over the PPE Medro scandal.
But Mr Coad, who campaigns for tougher Press regulation, could now face questions after the Solicitors Regulation Authority announced an inquiry into the Mone case.
A spokesman for the SRA – which regulates solicitors in England – said: “We are gathering information before deciding on any next steps.”
The watchdog can issue a fine of up to £20,000 for breaches of its code.
However, Mr Coad – who has called for greater punishments for lawyers who misuse the legal system – said he was “100 per cent confident” he had not infringed the code.
He issued the apology after his role in helping Baroness Mone misinform journalists about her links to a lucrative government PPE contract came to light.
Mr Coad, who issued denials to reporters, says he did so unintentionally.
The Department of Health has claimed much of the PPE supplied was not fit for use.
The firm is being sued by the government for “unjust enrichment”.
Mr Coad mistakenly told publications in 2020 that “any suggestion of association” between Baroness Mone and the company would be “defamatory”.
He has said he “did all the due diligence I could have done”.
Mr Coad added: “It is beyond the forensic power of any solicitor to be able to be absolutely sure that all the information a client gives them is true and accurate.”
The lawyer has links to anti-press group Hacked Off and has called for greater controls on the media.
Yesterday, Mr Coad said: “I have not heard from the SRA and do not expect to do so.
“If I am to be investigated because I have been misled by a client than every lawyer who represents a client in the criminal court who was found guilty, or civil court where the outcome was against your client would have to be investigated too.”