Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dirty tricks at the Law Society of Scotland - But Donald Dewar was of no help ...

While I prepare a new article - on the actions of the 'executor' (Mr Norman Howitt) of my late father's estate, I just want to say a little about the blog entry I did on Law Society dirty tricks ....

Firstly, thanks for the comments to those who made them.

Indeed, it is the case that some, or probably all of the senior staff at the Law Society of Scotland, hate my guts.

After all, I have caused them huge problems over the years, and my complaint against Andrew Penman - which they buried with the utmost prejudice against me, has been an absolute PR disaster for them.

But - that happens in many complaints against lawyers, not just mine. It's just that I found out about it, had a bit of luck along the way, and was able to publicise what actually happened ... and in doing that, over the years, some people have come forward to show what happened in their own cases - remarkably similar to mine .... with tales of fiddled complaints investigations, prejudiced conclusions on evidence in favour of their own members, rumour spreading to malign their character to put them off complaining against their lawyer and discovering the truth about how much their lawyer had stolen, embezzled, etc .... you name it .. it all came out .. and today of course, we have several high profile cases, among thousands or even more out there, which have caused the Scottish legal profession so much trouble, that they will eventually lose their self-regulatory status ...

The struggle to attain independent regulation .. has been long & arduous ... with more effort on our part to come .. but it seems, that in the future, we will get non-lawyers investigating crooked lawyers, but of course, we will have to be on our guard to make sure that such an 'independent body' which will come to regulate the legal profession, does not go the way of the many quangos in Scotland - where political friends, allies, and crooked businessmen, etc .. are appointed to allegedly 'oversee' respective agencies, Health Trusts, and the like ...

So, why do I say those at the Law Society of Scotland hate my guts ?

Well, over the years, while I have of course, uncovered the likes of those letters from Douglas Mill to the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and the letter from Philip Yelland to my own lawyer, ordering him not to do particular things in my case ... there have been many meetings by Law Society staff against me, discussing tactics such as how to combat my access to publicity & the media, how to cause trouble for me on a personal and day-to-day level, to investigate me to see if they could come up with any scandal or rumour they could publicly use against me to shut me up ... etc .. you name it, they did it .. and not forgetting of course, several briefings to journalists against me - trying to suggest various untruths against me to scupper any new attempts at articles (all which failed of course, and resulted in me being told back by the journalists ...) .. so, I would say I have been 'through the mill' so to speak ...

I also found, that when the senior staff of the Law Society of Scotland and the supposed 'cream' of the Scottish legal profession, couldn't get their way against me, they would resort to the most horrible personal insults ... actually .. for people who consider themselves to be above everyone else, they don't half swear ! ... I have been called everything under the sun .. but, I am still here .. no scandal to my name (because there is none) .. and I have survived all of their attempts to manufacture information against me to try and lessen my credibility ...

My concern, however, is not just for me, but also for the thousands of other clients out there who have been through the same mill as I have - many either being too worn out or run down by the legal profession to do anything about it, or simply, too troubled & scared to do anything about it.

Many people came to me over the years to tell me of dirty tricks played against them by members of the legal profession - I'm talking about really low down disgusting horrible stuff now, you know .. not just about calling clients names & fiddling papers .... really serious stuff .. like making them bankrupt to be able to gain their houses and sell them off to a legal colleague at a cheap price ..etc ... or in one case I heard of, upsetting a client so much with interference in his complaint, he killed himself with a shotgun. A recent further example I recall is of a lawyer - who protests to be a great christian, family man, churchgoer, etc ... to have used every lie in the book to defend a colleagues negligence,. to the point of condeming any critisism against his crooked colleague .... at the expence of the former client's life. How christian is that then ? do two wrongs make a right ? .... that's the legal profession for you .. considering themselves to be among the so-called 'great & the good', who hold themselves on pedestals higher than any of us .. and can remain on those pedestals as long as they have the likes of the Scottish Executive and their political friends in the Scottish Parliament to keep them in the lifestyle to which they have been accustomed for decades ...

So, my arguement is, that these people - crooked lawyers in Scotland - AND THERE ARE MANY .. are some of the worst elements of Society - and will do everything in their power, and much more, to ensure they can do what they want and get away with whatever they do ... including using the Police against agrieved clients, who are all too willing it seems in certain cases, to act as 'boot boys' for lawyers who are eventually unmasked down the road ...

Next article tomorrow .. the Norman Howitt papers - see how crooked the Executor to my father's estate, a crooked Scottish Accountant can be, and see how crooked his regulatory body (ICAS, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) can be in finding him blameworthy of his actions, but fiddling the complaint to say he acted outwith his professional capacity to stop them having to do anything and make sure I wasn't able to claim compensation ....

Here`s a further article from "The Scotsman" Newspaper - when I asked the late Donald Dewar to intervene in this corrupt mess created by the Law Society of Scotland to protect Andrew Penman ... surprise - he did nothing. Why ? Because the Law Society of Scotland had him round their little finger.

Plea to Dewar for inquiry on Law Society role in wrangle.

William Chisholm The Scotsman 2 December 1997

A MAN who lost much of his inheritance because of a solicitor's incompetence is to challenge a decision not to allow him access to key documents drawn up by the Law Society of Scotland in the course of an eight year legal wrangle.

Peter Cherbi, from Jedburgh, has asked the Scottish Secretary, Donald Dewar, for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the handling of the £300,000 estate of his late father, Gino Cherbi, a Borders businessman.

The demand for an inquiiry into the role of the law society and the Scottish legal services ombudsman, Garry watson, was made yesterday after Mr Cherbi heard that Mr Watson was closing the file on the case.

Mr Cherbi alleges that the society conspired to prevent prosecution of the solicitor who dealt with his father's affairs.

Mr Cherbi also plans to raise a court action against the society to force its officials to release crucial reports int he case.

Written submissions lodged on behalf of a lawyer, Andrew Penman, persuaded the society's complaints committee to abandon plans to refer his "appalling" handling of the executry to the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.

Instead, the committee decided that a reprimand and a compensation award of £1000 to the estate would be a more appropriate penalty, despite grave concerns about Mr Penman's professional misconduct.

After the decision, Mr Cherbi took his complaing to Mr Watson, who carried out a separate inquiry into the society's handling of the case.

The ombudsman conclided "It is most important that there is transparency of decision making within committees and that reporters and committees provide their reasons for arriving at decisions".

Mr Watson said the complainer and the ombudsman should be afvised why the complaints committee had changed its mind on prosecuting Mr Penman.

His report also disclosed that a society memorandum contained concerned that a solicitor who represented Mr Penman before the committee had made reference to Peter Cherbi's character and that such references had been considered "unfair".

But now Mr Watson has told Mr Cherbi he has received the written representations made on Mr Penman's behalf on the basis that they remain confidential to the ombudsman's office.

Mr Watson adds "However, I can assure you that these representations solely relate to the solicitor himself; they do not contain any comments with regard to yourself."

Mr Cherbi said yesterday "The Law Society must have tremendous pulling power when they can get the legal services ombudsman to alter his stance.

"They are only interested in protecting their own members. I am not even able to see the evidence presented to the committee on Mr Penman's behalf yet he had access to all of my submissions".

In Mr Cherbi's opinion, Mr Watson was a 'puppet of the law society'. In a letter seeking Mr Dewar's intervention, Mr Cherbi states "I am the victim of a very sleazy cover-up by the law society to protect a very bad solicitor who has already been found guilty of misconduct".

He said he had no intention of giving up the fight to recover his father's estate in full.

Mr Cherbi is to seek judicial review of the law society's alleged mishandling of his complaint.

The society has sent him a cheque for £250 to compensate him for long delays in processing the case, a payment Mr Cherbi describes as an insult.

The Scotsman asked Mr Watson to comment after his decision to close the file in the Cherbi case.

In a written response, he said "I am not in a position to make any public comment on a matter, which, in accordance with my remit, is private between myself and complainer".

Philip Yelland, the law society's deputy secretary, said "Mr Cherbi appears to be expressing concern about the ombudsman's position and it would be inappropriate for us to say anything if he wishes to take further action.

When mr Cherbi, senior, died aged 73 in 1990, he left stocks and shares, property, and other assets valued at more than £250,000.

There were also overseas assets including an account with the Banco di Roma, containing an estimated £26,000. which was not collected by the executry. The estate has yet to be settled.

A separate complaint by Mr Cherbi against an accountant who acted as executor of the estate is the subject of a separate inquiry by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

No comments: