Award-winning £60,000-a-year lawyer is jailed for three years after stealing £30,000 from vulnerable 76-year-old client living in nursing home

  • Lawyer Julie Harrigan, 36, stole around £30,000 from a client over two years
  • Harrigan was an award-winning senior associate in Jersey earning £60,000
  • The affairs of her client, a resident at a nursing home aged 76 years old, were hers to manage. 
  • Harrigan also moved £18,000 of another late client’s funds against their wishes
  • In 2018, she was fired and, after some delay due to Covid’s interference, was sentenced to three years in prison 

A highly respected lawyer who transferred around £30,000 of an elderly client’s funds into her own bank account has been jailed for three years.

Julie Harrigan (36), was an award-winning senior attorney at Collas Crill, an offshore law firm in Jersey, at the time the offense occurred. It came to light in January 2018

Harrigan was informed by the Royal Court in Jersey that she made 46 transfers to her own bank account in two years from the account of an elderly resident at a nursing home in Jersey.

Harrigan, who earned £60,000 a year, was exposed after tax workers at her firm noticed discrepancies within the estate of the woman – referred to as client A – who had been judged unable to look after her own affairs.

Julie Harrigan, 36, was an award-winning senior associate at the offshore law firm Collas Crill in Jersey at the time of the offence, which came to light in January 2018.

Julie Harrigan was 36 years old and an award-winning senior partner at Collas Crill offshore in Jersey. The offence came to light in January 2018.

The court also heard that Harrigan had been instructed to move £18,000 of another of Collas Crill’s customers – a recently-deceased person referred to as client B – to the JSPCA animal shelter in line with their will.

But she instead moved it into client A’s account.

Crown Advocate Matthew Maletroit, prosecuting, said this could have been an attempt to ‘cover her tracks’ or to ensure she could carry on making transfers into her own account.

In January 2018, Harrigan was fired from her position after an investigation by Collas Krill. She tried to appeal the verdict but was denied and returned home to Ireland.

The criminal investigation into fraud began. Harrigan received a call from police in March 2020. They informed her she was being investigated for fraud. 

However, after the pandemics and lockdown she was unable to make it back in September. 

Advocate Rebecca Morley Kirk, who defended Harrigan, stated that Harrigan was a victim of significant personal issues and had become distant from her family. 

Harrigan was jailed for three years for fraud yesterday at Royal Court in St Helier, Jersey

Yesterday, Harrigan was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud at the Royal Court of St Helier (Jersey).

Ms. Morley Kirk claimed Harrigan also felt under strain. She was treated as though she were a partner, despite her only being an associate senior to the firm.

She added that her client had been genuinely remorseful and that she was willing to pay back the money she took by cashing in her £28,000 personal contributions from her pension.

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae, delivering the sentence of the court, said the defendant had been earning £60,000 per year when she offended and there had been no need for her to take the money.