City lawyer faces her biggest challenge yet

AS a partner at niche law firm Kingsley Napley, an expert in financial crime, writer, editor and military adviser, Louise Hodges is a woman of wide experience. She may need to call on all her skills when representing Kweku Adoboli.

She may also turn for advice to her colleague, Stephen Pollard, who represented Nick Leeson in the 1990s.

Hodges, who attended Walthamstow High School before going up to Oxford University in 1985, joined Kingsley Napley as a trainee in 1997. She went on to develop a reputation for representing people suspected by the Financial Services Authority or police of market abuse, insider dealing or misconduct.

A former vice-chair of the European Criminal bar association, Hodges’ online profile lists her specialities as “white collar crime, fraud, bribery and financial regulatory defence work”.

Her career has taken her beyond the confines of the City, however. This year she has been the lead partner in a team representing a number of military witnesses in the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel worker who was abused by British soldiers in 2003.

She was also a contributor and co-editor of Kingsley Napley: Serious Fraud, Investigation and Trial which was published in April 2009.

Hodges, who was at work yesterday, told City A.M. it was too early for her to answer questions.

Pollard, who represented soldiers in the Bloody Sunday inquiry – the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British history – declined to comment yesterday on the lessons learned from the Leeson case.