The jury in the fraud trial of Jonathan Denton – a former partner in the London office of US law firm Locke Lord – has been discharged because of fears of coronavirus.
Denton, 60, was on trial alongside four other defendants facing charges of fraud by false representation.
However, the 16-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court has now been halted with the jury discharged.
The trial has been rescheduled for 11 January 2021 with a pre-trial review listed on 11 December.
Denton was arrested at Birmingham Airport in October 2015 in connection with an allegedly fraudulent £21m investment scheme that he partially ran out of Locke Lord’s London office.
He was fired from the firm in July 2015 and struck off as a solicitor in 2018.
Locke Lord received a record £500,000 fine from regulator the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for its handling of the matter.
The firm is also facing ongoing professional negligence claims in connection with the case.
A spokesperson for Locke Lord said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on the ongoing trial.
“The SRA and Locke Lord cooperatively resolved this matter back in 2017 when the SRA accepted our position that the firm and its senior officers did not act dishonestly or with conscious impropriety.
“These matters only concerned the actions of Denton and related only to clients for whom he worked.”
Locke Lord is not a party to the criminal trial and has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Prior to joining Locke Lord in 2012, Denton was a banking and finance partner at Mishcon de Reya, Salans (now Dentons) and Wragge & Co (now Gowling WLG).