Bunhill: At war with lawyers

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The Independent Online
CHRISTOPHER GUMBLEY, the former chief executive of Astra Holdings, the weapons company that collapsed shortly after becoming embroiled in the Iraqi supergun affair, has fallen on especially hard times.

Earlier this month, Mr Gumbley, who spent time in prison on a corruption charge, was made bankrupt after failing to settle a bill for pounds 15,000 to his former solicitors, Trowers &Hamblins.

However, Mr Gumbley plans to fight the bankruptcy order, arguing that the solicitors had a conflict of interest when they were acting for him. At the time, Trowers &Hamblins acted for another Astra director, Stephan Adolph Kock, who back in 1990 boasted of leading the boardroom revolt that led to the resignation of Mr Gumbley as a director of the company.

It had taken Trowers &Hamblins more than three years to go down the bankruptcy route in an attempt to recover its fees. 'Lawyers are always reluctant to sue their clients,' a spokesman said.