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International Institute for Strategic Leadership

IISL Case Study: ETHICS at THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

Illegal (Retaliatory) Groundless Threat Harassment

IISL Fellows can access more data and evidence behind this research via the IISL Fellows’ Portal.

“Groundless Threat” Harassment


Only one day after the LSE was served with a multi-million Pound lawsuit in the UK HIgh Court,

(the largest lawsuit of its kind in the history of UK Higher Education),

the LSE and its solicitors, Pinsent Masons retaliated by harassing the Claimant

with an illegal “groundless threat” for alleged intellectual property infringements.


Later, one day after the LSE’s head of Governance, Legal and Policy Division, Mr Robin Hoggard

received a censure for his violation of UK Information laws in relation to the aforementioned lawsuit,

the LSE and Pinsent Masons once again retaliated by harassing the Claimant

with continued illegal “groundless threats” for alleged intellectual property infringements.












A Google search of “Robin Hoggard” and either

unethical” or “lawsuit” or  ”harassing” or “unjustified” or “groundless threat

cites this website as the number one entry.


Legal experts assert that these are clearly “groundless threats”, as any and all trade marks in question

are purely descriptive and/or classified as fair use/fair dealing,

and in no way could be considered to be used in the course of trade or business.


Even the LSE’s own “copyright/digital literacy” expert, Dr Jane Secker disagreed with Pinsent Masons

when she wrote in an internal LSE email (prior to the LSE/Pinsent Masons’ “groundless threat”):


“...in itself is not a copyright infringement, even if it implies endorsement.”


Although the Claimant demanded that the LSE reveal the identity of any

alleged complainant so that any alleged dispute could potentially be resolved,

the LSE and Pinsent Masons have tellingly refused to do so.

In addition, the Claimant repeatedly contacted the Director of the LSE

so that any alleged dispute could potentially be resolved,

however the Director of the LSE has tellingly refused to reply.

The LSE and Pinsent Masons’ actions therefore give further evidence

that they have made illegal “groundless threats.”


The LSE made its first “groundless threat” well-over one year ago on 12 November 2015.

The LSE and Pinsent Masons have subsequently threatened

that if the Claimant did not pay its legal fees, further legal action would be taken.

The innocent Claimant (supported by a network of legal experts)

has not given in to the LSE/Pinsent Masons’ illegal bullying and harassment.

No legal fees have been paid nor will be paid to the LSE/Pinsent Masons.


As expected, the LSE/Pinsent Masons’ illegal “groundless threats” have proven to be hollow,

the LSE/Pinsent Masons have begun to retract their demands after they were exposed on this website,

and the LSE and Pinsent Masons now face potential legal action.


In addition, the LSE and Pinsent Masons have documented medical proof

that in sending “groundless threats” to a disabled person whose disability was caused by the LSE,

their harassment was attracting further legal liability by worsening the disability.


Cerys Wyn Davies is the Partner and Nicky Pereira is the junior solicitor

from Pinsent Masons based in Birmingham, UK responsible for this illegal action.

Pinsent Masons Lose Landmark Trade Mark Cases


In the landmark trade mark case of Specsavers v Asda,

Pinsent Masons represented the losing side.


In another landmark trade mark case of Diageo v Intercontinental Brands,

Pinsent Masons represented the losing side.


In yet another landmark trade mark case of Hasbro v 123 Nahrmittel,

Pinsent Masons represented the losing side.


In fact, on Pinsent Masons’ website advertising its alleged capabilities in trade mark litigation,

it does not appear to have successfully won any of the four example cases highlighted,

casting doubt on its legal capabilities.

Pinsent Masons on “Groundless Threats”


Note that Pinsent Masons inform their own clients (via their aptly-named website, Out-Law.com)

that such trade mark issues have not been proven to be illegal, stating:


“Trade mark expert Lee Curtis of Pinsent Masons,

said that the use was unlikely to be trade mark infringement.”


(Note that Pinsent Masons’ aforementioned trade mark expert, has long since left the firm).


Pinsent Masons go on to inform their clients that such trade mark issues

have also not been proven to be enforceable, stating:


“The logo is currently still in place on both the original story

and the post about the controversy over its use.”


Finally, Pinsent Masons warn their own clients that

making such “groundless threats” can be illegal, stating:


“‘the groundless threats provisions seek to strike a balance between...

the right of businesses to be able to operate without being the subject

of unjustified threats of court action if demands for payment

in relation to spurious claims of infringement go unmet.’


Currently, some companies accused of infringing on trade mark rights

can launch legal proceedings against rights holders where they believe

threats of legal action against them are groundless.”


In fact, Pinsent Masons repeatedly warn their own clients that

making such “groundless threats” can be illegal, stating:


“... you need to be very careful about how you approach the other party,

to ensure that you are not seen to be making an unjustified or groundless threat...

as making an allegation of trade mark infringement could result in

the other party having a right of action against you for unjustified threats.”

A Google search of “Cerys Wyn Davies” and either:

harassing” or ”harassment” or “illegal” or “unjustified” or “groundless threat” or “LSE

cites this website as the number one entry.

A Google search of “Nicky Pereira” and either:

ethics” or  ”harassing” or ”harassment” or “illegal” or “unjustified” or “groundless threat” or “LSE

also cites this website as the number one entry.

Mordue’s “Bolder and Better” Strategy


It appears that Mr Mordue tried to pioneer the much-maligned, ill-fated, high-risk approach

used in the finance industry (which caused the global banking crisis),

by importing it into the legal profession with his Higher Education clients as test subjects.


Pinsent Masons calls its “pioneering” legal approach in Higher Education: Bolder and Better,

which encourages risk-taking, while discouraging procedural compliance

and spending too much time, resources and costs in mitigating legal risk.


“Chris [Mordue] has pioneered our ‘bolder and better’ approach

to employment advice in the Higher Education (HE) sector,

challenging a typically risk averse and procedurally compliant mindset in the sector.”


“The ‘bolder and better’ approach encourages a primary focus

on achieving the right commercial outcome in a way that

avoids disproportionate time, resource and cost

and keeps legal risk in proportion to achieving those goals.

This approach is at the heart of our profile...”


Data suggests that had the LSE been more procedurally compliant and risk averse (not less),

the LSE could have easily avoided these financially and reputationally costly lawsuits.

There is strong empirical evidence therefore, that Pinsent Masons’ ”bolder” may not be ”better”.





Pinsent Masons Removed by the LSE in Defending their Multi-million Pound High Court Lawsuit


Note that after three years, Pinsent Masons were ultimately removed and replaced by the LSE

as the solicitors defending the LSE’s ongoing multi-million Pound lawsuit in the UK High Court.





Mr Mordue abruptly leaves Pinsent Masons and Ends his Relationship with the LSE


Internal sources from the LSE have leaked on 6 April 2017 that Christopher Mordue,

the Pinsent Masons lawyer who has presided over two related multi-million Pound lawsuits

against the LSE over the past four years - the largest lawsuits in Higher Education,

has abruptly left Pinsent Masons this week, as the landmark lawsuits continued towards their trials.

The Largest Lawsuits in the History of Higher Education


Pinsent Masons LLC is the law firm responsible for advising its client The London School of Economics,

regarding the LSE’s alleged illegal actions (dating from 2012) which led to

two separate, but related seven-figure, multi-million Pound lawsuits against the LSE,

which will be heard in both the UK Civil High Court and the UK Employment Tribunal in 2018,

and which are believed to be the largest lawsuits of their kind in the history of Higher Education.


Christopher Mordue, the national head of Pinsent Masons’ Universities employment team

based in Leeds, UK, has been the solicitor responsible for this situation.

LSE/Pinsent Masons’ Groundless Threat


One of the world’s premier social sciences universities,

with its illustrious 120-year history, 16 Nobel Prize winners and an annual intake of £350 million,

has officially announced via its lawyers, Pinsent Masons

that it considers the IISL to be a competitive threat which is allegedly:


“...causing our loss.”


Because of the IISL’s cutting-edge research and award-winning teaching

conducted at (and endorsed by) leading global universities like

the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Oxford, Duke Corporate Education

and the London School of Economics, the LSE has officially stated that:


“confusion in the marketplace...”


now exists between the IISL and the LSE among


“...students, academics, institutions and other consumers.”


(Note that world-class universities like MIT, Oxford and Duke have never made such a claim).



The IISL, which is an informal network without any faculty or students,

operating on a volunteer pro bono basis without any income or budget,

is honoured to be considered on par with such a world-renowned institution,

and thanks the LSE for its strong endorsement.


“While we are honoured to be considered to be on par intellectually with

an institution having such vast resources and such an illustrious history,

there should be no ‘confusion in the marketplace’ whatsoever

among any ‘students, academics, institutions and other consumers.’

What distinguishes the IISL from the LSE is our Excellence and our Ethics.

A Google search of “Christopher Mordue” and “London School of Economics

cites this website as the top entries.