Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Concerns over Scottish accountants and lawyers teaming up against the consumer to avoid scrutiny of ripping off the client

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Two criminals meet on the way to a robbery. The house each one is targeting is stuffed so full of valuables, that neither criminal can take the lot ... so, one says to the other - "there's too much stuff in the house to swipe ... so why don't you take the top floor, and I take the ground floor" ... Both burglars then agree their plan of cooperation ... and proceed to systematically loot the house of it's contents.

Simple enough explanation, isn't it ? You can see the logic there, can't you ? ... house has too many valuables .. and the SWAG bag each burglar can only hold so much ?

Well, this is what is currently happening (and has been for awhile, actually), with clients of Scottish lawyers, who also happen to be using the same firm of accountants, associated with the firm of their solicitors, and this is also a reflection on the plan of the legal and accounting professions to circumvent the new "Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill ... which aims to bring independent regulation to the legal profession.

In a deal worked out between accountancy and legal profession to tackle the LPLA Bill, Scottish accountants will be able to take on the handling of probate services or handling of a will, while the lawyer also gets a slice of the business - and both will avoid the scrutiny of independent regulation.

How will they be able to do that ?

Well, part of the deal is that accountants will be able to take on the probate & wills business, of course, but the accountant will then 'sub-contract' out some or most of the work they have been given by the client, back to a legal firm getting the lawyer to work on, or give advice or consultation on matters - at preferrential rates, costing the client even more at the end of the day. This is why the Law Society of Scotland are happy about the deal ... along with the fact they have many friends in senior places in ICAS and the accounting profession in Scotland.

Since the accountant has 'sub-contracted' the work to the solicitor and their legal firm, NOT the client, any complaints regarding the actual handling of the will by either the lawyer or the accountant would have to be made against the accountant, not the lawyer, and thus submitted to the likes of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland- the governing body which self regulates the accountancy profession in Scotland - therefore avoiding any investigation by the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, as would be planned in the forthcoming LPLA Bill.

In essence, we will therefore have accountants and lawyers self regulating their colleagues again .. which is almost the same as we have had for decades with the legal profession where lawyer has investigated lawyer and covered up for the crooked behaviour of their colleagues ... for all those decades, leading now to the LPLA Bill.

If any of you doubt this, just reflect on how the Law Society of Scotland have regulated the legal profession over the years ... and reflect further on the ways in which the Instutite of Chartered Accountants of Scotland have got their own crooked accountants off the hook in complaints - an example of this, direct from their Director of Legal Services, Tom Mc Morrow, lies here at : http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2006/03/norman-howitt-crooked-borders.html

... and my previous postings on this matter can also be viewed at : http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2006/07/scottish-accountants-try-to-amend-lpla.html & http://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2006/07/peter-cherbi-asks-lord-chancellor-to.html

Fancy trying to make this arguement to the new SLCC ? that they should investigate a lawyer who has been sub contracted to do work for an accountant ?

That would be quite difficult, given you will be facing the political lobbying might of the accountancy profession, which is just as powerful, if not more so, than the legal profession

This really summarises why I am so concerned about the amendment by ICAS to the LPLA Bill ... because I know ICAS, and I know accountants, and I have personal experience, on my own case, and on others, as to the methods employed by ICAS to protect their criminal members ... so take note of this ... criminals do nothing unless it benefits them .. and we have a case of this with the ICAS amendment put forward .. to benefit their profession - at the expense of the consumer.

I have seen so many crooked deals between legal firms and accountancy firms involving the same client - where the lawyer handles the client's legal business, and an accountancy firm which deals with the legal firm on an intimate basis, deals with the same client's accountancy work ... particularly in the likes of the Scottish Borders .. where the attitude of ... ; the lawyer will rip them off for legal work while the accountant rips them off for accountancy work' is quite prevalent ... but this goes on all over Scotland.

Of course, the solution to a house burglar is perhaps - a rottweiler. Take my word for it, this works .. however, whether the LPLA Bill will be as effective against corruption within the legal professions as a rottweiler is against a burglar, we will just have to wait and see .. I say no .. because the rottweiler will hang on forever .... good doggy ... !


Jaz said...


Anonymous said...

good thing you spotted this.

marie said...

the damage you have done to these 2 professions must be high.
they would have been better paying off the likes of you a long time ago. good for you for sticking at it - time we had some more like you around.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info on Mcmorrow

Lex said...

man, this is great. u should be on tv. great that u are helping others.