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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Former Lynn apprentice in running for top legal award

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

Published 03/05/2013 | 05:00

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Rogue solicitor Michael Lynn
Rogue solicitor Michael Lynn

ROGUE solicitor Michael Lynn's former apprentice – whose career almost collapsed after revelations about his boss's €80m mortgage fraud – has been shortlisted for a major legal award.

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Daniel Hughes was just 24 when the Law Society, the ruling body for solicitors, closed down Lynn's practice in September 2007.

The Leitrim native, a commercial litigation lawyer, has now been shortlisted for "sole practitioner of the year" at the Danske Bank Irish Law Awards.

Five years ago, the High Court ordered that Lynn be struck off the roll of solicitors and pay a record €2m in fines to the Law Society.

Lynn fled Ireland in December 2007 with a bench warrant for his arrest and estimated €80m liabilities to banks after drawing down multiple mortgage loans on the same properties.

"It was off the wall," said Mr Hughes (30), speaking to the Irish Independent about the weeks leading up to the first major scandal involving members of the solicitors profession.

"I was only halfway through my apprenticeship and Michael Lynn was my master," added Mr Hughes, who also suffered financial losses after he invested in one of Lynn's property schemes in Bulgaria.

Mr Hughes struggled to secure any job interviews with law firms following media revelations about the Mayo-born Lynn.

So, when he qualified, Mr Hughes set up his own firm – Hughes and Associates Solicitors – which specialises in commercial litigation, insolvencies and liquidations.

The Danske Bank Irish Law Awards will take place today in the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin and will be hosted by RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan.

Irish Independent

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