Media association and law firm lock horns over alleged fraud

Multi-million kroner case involving media royalties follows accountancy investigation

Police are investigating an alleged fraud, following claims by the media production association Producentforeningen that the law firm Johan Schlüter has broken the law in its handling of income from film and television rights. Johan Schlüter denies Producentforeningen’s claim.

Following an investigation by the accountancy firm Deloitte, which reportedly identified serious irregularities in the law firm’s accounts, Producentforeningen announced on Wednesday that it had reported the Johan Schlüter law firm to police for contravention of the criminal code’s chapter 28 regarding property crimes.

Shock and horror
Klaus Hansen, the head of Producentforeningen, told Berlingske he was shocked by Deloitte’s findings.

“The result of Deloitte’s investigation is a shock for us and has horrified us,” he said.

“It is deeply disappointing that a business partner of many years has let us down so much.”

Johan Schlüter, the head of the law firm bearing his name, responded that, while it had a financial responsibility in the case, the firm and its partners were not under police investigation. He also questioned the magnitude of the sums involved, which Prodecentforeningen claims to be in the order of 100 million kroner.

Partner dismissed
“It’s important to highlight that no lawyers or other employees at the law firm at number 10 Højbro Plads are accused of anything,” he said.

However, Susanne Fryland, one of the law firm’s former partners, was dismissed for her role in the case and Schlüter said she is under police investigation.

Schlüter claims that the sums involved are in the order of about 20-40 million kroner. He claims that, before Producentforening made its announcement regarding police involvement, a deal had been made for restitution.

The law firm has worked for many years collecting royalties for film and television productions in Denmark and abroad.