Thursday, March 09, 2006

My blog makes the headlines in Scottish Newspaper Scotland on Sunday

The continuing revelations in the media over the attack on Leslie Cumming, Chief Accountant of the Law Society of Scotland, make for interesting reading .. where it is being reported today in Scotland on Sunday, the main lead being pursued is that of a hitman, probably hired by a lawyer to attack Mr Cumming.

If such a theory indeed turns out to be the truth, and reveals that a fellow member solicitor of the Law Society membership orchestrated the vicious attack on Mr Cumming, then I think, those at Drumsheugh Gardens should sit back and take a long hard look at themselves over how they have policed their own members over the years ... needless to say ... not very well .. if some of their own people are arranging for colleagues to be attacked or even murdered ?.....

A lawyer hiring a hitman to attack another lawyer .... would be one in the eye for those at the Law Society who, on Friday,opportunistically & viciously turned on aggrieved clients who have started their own websites & protest groups, wanting all such expressions of free speech by those disaffected by the Scottish legal profession 'shut down' on the basis that those 'aggrieved clients' websites & protests are allegedly 'calls for violence' ..... however, it seems the "violence" has probably come from the within legal profession itself ....

I was given an opportunity to comment in Scotland on Sunday today, which I have done so, and I would say, for the record, I have had dealings with Mr Cumming, back in 1999-2001.. and here is a summary of what happened ...

The actual dealings I had with Mr Cumming related to Andrew Penman's administration of my late father's will in terms of the financial investments, which Leslie Cumming, as Chief Accountant, was charged with regulating.

However, I had severe difficulties with Mr Cumming's consideration of matters, and frequently had to ask the FSA and even other Law Society officials, to step in to prompt him for action.

Even getting Mr Cumming to initially investigate my allegations of misappropriation of funds, delays of action, etc, by Mr Penman, was difficult enough - and I recall that the Client Relations Office Director , Mr Philip Yelland, tool some 4 months to inform him that I actually wanted to make a complaint (his office is, apparently, next door !) ... and when Mr Cumming eventually sent the complaint onto a Complaints Committee, it was so full of holes, that nothing was done, of course (and if you go back to the original William Chisholm & Jenny Booth articles, you will see why - the representation by Mr James Ness, Senior Council Member of the Law Society, of Mr Penman) - made sure nothing was done .. so it was fiddle after fiddle ...

I then of course went to the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman, which was Garry S Watson at the time. However, the rules & interpretation of the law made it so that he claimed he could not look into matters of a financial nature and investigations by Mr Cumming's office - so, up until this point, the Ombudsman was not able to look into the actions of Mr Cumming in terms of complaints by clients.

I then persuaded the Financial Services Authority in London, through a long course of letters, to discuss the matter with the Ombudsman, and new regulations were brought in, so that the Ombudsman COULD review complaints against solicitors of a Financial & Investment nature that had passed through the Office of Mr Cumming .

So - the end result was that the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman could now look at complaints brought by clients who had made a complaint to Mr Cumming's office which had been mishandled - it's a pity the Ombudsman didn't ask for those powers himself, instead having to be pushed by a client - me - to do it ... such is the nature of the legal profession and those who are appointed to oversee those who regulate it ... but who turn out to be just as bad ....

In any case, this blog made the headlines, as you will see from today's Scotland On Sunday newspaper article by Murdo Macleod at this link ...and all that is left to say on this issue for now, is that I wish Mr Cumming a speedy recovery, and for the Police to catch the culprits as soon as possible .. because crooked lawyers on the loose are bad enough - but violent lawyers on the loose - well, that just shows a legal profession out of control ....

and of course - over the next few days & weeks, I will be publishing a LOT more material as to what the legal profession did to me & my family ... so, stay tuned for even more insidious details of how an entire profession, using every resource available to it, can set about attempting to destroy the life of a single complainant .... - and remember - everyone uses a lawyer, so, it could happen to YOU too ....

Read on for the Scotland on Sunday article, link at :
Cash laundering link to law chief stabbing

FOUR Scottish solicitors suspected of money laundering are to be interviewed by detectives investigating a frenzied knife attack on a top law official.

Leslie Cumming, who survived 12 stab wounds, is understood to have headed an inquiry into corruption among lawyers which resulted in the four solicitors facing trial.

Police are looking at the theory that Cumming, chief accountant for the Law Society of Scotland, was the victim of a revenge attack ordered by a lawyer whose alleged criminality he had exposed.

Cumming, 62, was attacked last Monday outside his home in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh by a masked man. He spent three days in hospital.

Cumming, who is viewed as a tough customer by many members of the legal profession he helps regulate, is understood to have spearheaded a recent crackdown on all forms of misconduct relating to finance, including money-laundering.

At present, 16 Scottish solicitors face charges, including four on allegations of money-laundering.

A Lothian and Borders Police source said: "We will be questioning people who have been involved in money-laundering because he and his team normally take to investigating them. There are some guys - especially some in criminal practice - who give us a lot of concern because of the people they associate with. And they will know some pretty nasty guys who could carry out an attack for them."

Police will also this week begin sifting through all Law Society files that were being dealt with by Cumming and his team of 12 accountants. They will be looking for anyone who could have a grudge against Cumming, or who might have feared being investigated.

Cumming has given detectives the names of two former solicitors who have been banned from practising at least partially because of his inquiries and could have a grudge against him.

One was struck off for professional misconduct and the other for embezzling.
But officers say they will not be restricting their inquiries to these two individuals. Another force insider said: "Because of his position there are any number of people who will have had a grudge against him."

The attacker is described as being in his twenties, stocky and wearing dark clothing. Police will begin putting up posters in the area tomorrow in an effort to get more information from potential witnesses.

Meanwhile, campaigners for greater openness in the legal profession have hit back at suggestions that their organisations and websites could have been linked to the attack.

Senior figures in the Law Society have made it known they feel some of the websites criticising lawyers are tantamount to incitement to violence.

But Peter Cherbi, a long-time critic of the Law Society who runs a weblog "A Diary of Injustice in Scotland", said: "I'm concerned that some people will try and use this to stifle criticism and open debate. I can't imagine anyone connected to the campaigns would be involved in anything like this. Lawyers are supposed to uphold the right to free speech and not be acting against it."

He added: "As for Mr Cumming, I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery from this terrible attack."

At the Cummings' imposing home there was little sign yesterday of the knife attack just a few yards away. The small gated set of stairs leading down to their front door remained unlocked and windows around the house were left ajar.

Shreds of police tape which had been used to cordon off the area earlier in the week remained caught on a bush near the scene. Out on the hedge-lined street there were few passers-by, and residents hurried from their front doors to their cars parked on the road, with a few nervous glances.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said their inquiries were ongoing.

No comments: