Saturday, December 02, 2006

Law Society of Scotland actively censors the Scottish Press to kill articles on crooked lawyers

Some questions from the readers are always welcome - and I've certainly been getting a few of those, in posts & emails these past weeks.

Many of you are surprised as to the level of coverage my case got in the Scotsman & other newspapers - which can be viewed in my Flikr Photo Album

Well, the Scotsman newspaper certainly did play a big part in boosting the presence of my case, where crooked lawyer Andrew 'Fraudster' Penman of Stormonth Darling Solicitors, Kelso , robbed my family.

My eternal gratitude goes to the Scotsman of course, for their perseverance in covering my case - which brought out a few other stories on crooked lawyers too, and would you believe - actually caused the Scotsman to come out against self-regulation by the Law Society of Scotland and call for the independent regulation in several Scotsman editorials, which we are now about to get for complaints against solicitors in the forthcoming Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill

However, as some of you wonder, and was recently pointed out in the Scotsman comment forums Here .. the legal profession in Scotland certainly flex their muscle when it comes to quashing stories of crooked lawyers - and the Scotsman, sadly, fell to this fate several years ago, just after the 2001 "Regulation of the Legal Profession" Inquiry by Christine Grahame's Justice 1 Committee started to fiddle the terms of it's investigation in 2002.

The Law Society of Scotland - knowing full well, a queue of victims testifying at the Scottish Parliament Justice 1 Committee over hordes of crooked lawyers, wouldn't look good for it's image, persuaded the Scotsman group to drop stories on crooked lawyers, otherwise advertising from legal firms would be pulled - and all those lovely little lawyers offices up and down the breadth of Scotland wouldn't be buying a daily copy of the Scotsman newspaper. Circulation at the time, was bad, and the threat from the lawyers was enough to curb said articles on crooked lawyers ... but worse was to come .. the Law Society insisted on having a few lawyers on the staff - able to write pro legal profession articles and undo some of the damage caused by the likes of my coverage ... and that is why we have the likes of Campbell Deane, Donald Reid, Jenny Veitch & others twittering away on the glories of being a lawyer - and how honest the legal profession really is - while victims should be executed for protesting their cases.

A few memos flew around on poor old me ... "Don't cover Peter Cherbi" .. "If an email comes in from PC .. send it up to the legal team" ... and a few more colourful ones too ... but it got too much for one of the news editors to take, so he told me all about it .. showed me the evidence .. and that was it .. not much more about crooked lawyers in the Scotsman.

Wait a minute though ... I hear you say .. 'that's censorship, isn't it ?' - Well, yes it is. Quite right, it's censorship. The Law Society of Scotland, have censored the press.

It still happens though .. remember the article in the Herald newspaper titled "Would Granny swear by the Law Society ?", which I first covered here : The Corrupt Link Revealed - How the Law Society of Scotland manages client complaints & settlements

Well, the Law Society of Scotland went into war with the Herald newspaper, even threatening the careers of Journalists unless a retraction was printed of the 5th June article which reported on Douglas Mill, the Law Society Chief Executive, giving conflicting evidence to the Justice 2 Committee on his meddling with client claims - Mill's evidence appeared even more conflicting, after being challenged by John Swinney MSP with productions of memos which completely contradicted Mill's claims of innocence.

Read the Herald's forced 'clarification' of the content of the 5th June 'Granny swearing' article, which I covered here ; Law Society of Scotland claims success in gagging the press over Herald newspaper revelations of secret case memos

However, Douglas Mill & the Law Society were not content with the Herald's short 'clarification' .. since they wanted a full retraction of the story ... so they got hired gun Jennifer Veitch to do a rebuttal article in the very next day's edition of the Scotsman - which I covered here Scotsman responds to Peter Cherbi and the Herald with a living eulogy of Douglas Mill

I have to say, that photo of Douglas Mill creeps me out .. Someone said he looks like Julius Streicher - a prominent Nazi who was executed at Nuremberg for his hate publishing newspapers which incited the execution of ethnic groups including the Jews. If you Google Julius Streicher, there are a few pictures which are strikingly similar to Mill .... and from what I hear, Mill has certainly no love for those of us who stand up for justice against the legal profession .... so we better watch out on these past examples - because as we all know, even the legal profession sometimes eat their own , never mind eating the clients or complainers !

Oddly enough - after the attack on Leslie Cumming (almost within a few minutes, actually), senior members of the Law Society including Douglas Mill held private briefings & chats with journalists, demanding they run stories on those of us who questioned the honesty of the legal profession. I, Peter Cherbi, was particularly to 'get it in the neck' on this one.

Luckily for me, I had been quick off the mark and covered the Leslie Cumming story too, after getting tips from a Law Society insider and several journalists there was going to be "an all out attempt made to silence critics such as Peter Cherbi". I covered the Cumming attack story in my MSN blog on January 28th 2006, here : Major move by the Law Society of Scotland to silence critics in the wake of assault on one of it's top members

Sure enough - later that day, Scotland on Sunday contacted me for quotes on the Cumming attack .. because the Law Society of Scotland were demanding that all websites, publishing & anything or anyone to do with exposing corruption within the legal profession, should be shut down, but in the hurry to get quotes from me, Scotland on Sunday also mentioned my blog .. which certainly gave me a wee boost !. Read the Scotland on Sunday article in my blog post here : Scotland on Sunday's article on the Leslie Cumming attack

Now, that's censorship ! I don't blame the Scotsman group - it wasn't their fault - the Law Society of Scotland were obviously hungry for blood (having spilled it from one of their own in questionable & unresolved circumstances) ... and I was certainly a good target as you can see ... but good thing I have my head screwed on properly, and know what to say & when to say it. A Scotsman insider later said ... 'You did just fine, Pete.. they were hoping for a happy reaction to the attack from you but you were as good as gold and threw it right back to them" ... good thing too !

If I could just say this to the Scotsman - Please, lads, run the stories on the crooked lawyers. People are being ruined by those who purport to uphold & represent the law. Everyone surely has the right to get the same kind of exposure I got in the paper. Give these people a chance, and dump all those pro legal profession stories which are simply there to kill off criticism of what we all know is a very corrupt profession. But ... thank you, for my coverage, and thank you for giving me the platform to speak to others & hopefully use the publicity I get, to help others, and of course, to ultimately help bring in the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill - which, without all those Scotsman articles on my case, I think would have been a lot more difficult to campaign for.

My message to politicians. Why don't you help us ? Do you hate us so much because we bring to your attention things which should not be ? Are you so much in the back pocket of the Law Society & it's allies, you are afraid to stand up to them ? Not one outraged politician has ever stood up and helped me, bar Phil Gallie. Why is that ? and why have so many other constituents across Scotland been refused help by msps when it comes to crooked lawyers or their allies ?

This, is the power of the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish legal profession visible for all to see - and this is why we must have a fully independent complaints system against lawyers - and why we must also have a review of how the Law Society has conducted itself in the past towards many clients whom have been purposely ruined to protect crooked lawyers.


Anonymous said...

Scotland seems to be worse than China for censorship !
Who put the bloogy lawyers in charge anyway ? Time that one was put right

Keep writing the articles kid.Clearly people respect you for it.

Anonymous said...

Thought the title was a little strong but I believe it after reading your article.
Poor Scotland to be under the rule of the Law Society.
btw yes I agree, Mill looks like that nazi you mentioned. Good comparison!

FatherChristmas said...

The way you wrote up the Cumming stuff, I'm tempted to believe it was the Law Society who orchestrated the whole thing to get sympathy.
Carve up Cumming to stop you and the LPLA Bill - seems possible and NO ONE has been caught.

a.n.other said...

Politicians are bribed by the Law Society not to do anything - thats why no one helped you, or anyone else facing crooked lawyers.
I said BRIBED - get it ? BRIBED.

Anonymous said...

any comment on the rumour the law society asked the press to lay off nicol stephen because hes a former lawyer ? Cops allegedly told to go easy on him too ?

Bert said...

I agree with you 100%
The Law Society has failed to resolve client complaints for years. Its time for someone else to do it properly.

I can imagine you will be keeping an eye on the new complaints body !

CMDavis said...

Censorship is a disgrace anywhere in the world, but especially in a 'modern & long established democracy' such as the United Kingdom.
Lawyers cannot be allowed to control & manipulate the free press just to mask their own criminality.
Your work is productive in unmasking the truth.

Please visit Reporters without Borders
Transparency International UK
Indymedia UK

Anonymous said...

Scotsman should not be bowing to this lot of crooks just because they threatened to pull their advertising

A bloody disgrace.

Peter Cherbi said...

# 5 anonymous

I wouldn't be surprised if that were true. Will look into it. Thanks.


The Indymedia link you provided is probably the only 1 of the 3 which is of any use. If the other 2 organisations had been worth their salt, they would already be onto this. As for Transparency International - they don't want to know about crooked lawyers ... guess why ?

Dwarf said...

Admittedly looks bad after reading your article.Why have the lawyers been allowed such power there ?

常 said...


interesting work

its interested in uk+media

it can email you ?


Poirot said...

Seems the Law Society must have spent a fortune trying to cover up all these complaints. Would have been cheaper to pay you lot off by the looks of it.

Good show cherbie and fuck you very much Douglas Mill.

Ugo said...

100% accurate Peter

Raise your name around here and a lawyer appears in seconds.

James said...

I now realise why some articles dont make it to print and I dont think it just relates to lawyers after asking around. I know you have problems with lawyers from what you write but I think there may be more to this censorship than just from the Law Society, or at least they may be the main control of it.

Mac said...

I agree with the other comments.

Lawyers cannot be allowed to run the media.

Archie said...

Sounds like you will upset a few peeps with this one Pete.

Any uodate on the threats yet ? You should publish that letter of the lawyer who asked his client to duff u up.

Keep it up mate

Peter Cherbi said...

The following comes from an'anonymous' poster :
"Wow,I would love to see your evidence of a cover-up. Do you have any? Where is all the legal advertising in the Scotsman? I read it regularly and can't find much.
Maybe you could publish it on flickr. "

Well, 'anonymous', why don't you go ask some of the lawyers for the Scotsman & other newspapers how they white out stories on their own colleagues ... but I'm definitely not going to publish material sent to me by serving journalists at newspapers showing Law Society censorship in action - or they will get sacked - and some have already been threatened with sacking of course.

I see some are upset I republished the Scotsman coverage on my cases .. must be terrible for the lawyers, that one ...

Must admit though - there isn't a lot of legal advertising these days in the Scotsman - although one of the threats was also to pull the property advertising from the crooked Solicitors Property Centres. Maybe the Scotsman should just dump them anyway and print the facts. Much better than being muzzled by lawyers out to keep the scandals on their own quiet.

Peter Cherbi said...


I'll send you some of the emails over the past few days ... they use their firms email addresses too, which is a lot more than the sneak lawyers with obscure nicknames who used to post in the Scotsman forums.

As for the letter, saving that one for later !

JCPenny said...

So they finally turned Scotland into a dictatorship huh. Glad my ancestors left your lawyer controlled little nazi state and if anyone else there knows whats best for them, they will get out too.

Sorry to be so down on your country but after reading what youv'e been thru, i mean, wtf, why put up with crap like that. You guys should get together and hang those bastards.they dont serve the law they serve their wallets and dont care who they destroy.

PS Your cowardly Scottish newspapers SUCK !

JCPenny said...

You published my comment, are you awake ? am adding you on my msn but seems your offline.

I totally missed your flikr photo link but just finished viewing your album.Sorry to read that about your mom. Thats terrible what happened at the hospital and another lawyer screwed the case up probably as revenge against you.

Really feel for ya kid. Hope things work out for you someday and all those bastards get whats coming to them.Someone should get off their ass and help you some.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

You could publish the emails and blank out the significant points that may identify anything or anyone.

I think you may be barking up the wrong tree on the advertising front. It's the clients that will ask for ads to be placed as, in my experience of selling a property, it's the clients that pay for the advertising. The Property Centres don't, on the whole, advertise anywhere other than through their own publications and website. If anything the papers are in competition with the Property Centres.

May I suggest that you come up with a new story, with new people. Yours has passed its sell by date in newspaper terms.

Anonymous said...


You make an excellent point. Lawyers are business people and like all business people it comes down to an economic decision.

Why then did the lawyers not think to pay off persistant complainers? Perhaps they think there is no case to answer? Interesting theory.

Peter Cherbi said...


Thanks for your comments ... there are many more like me though, who never make the headlines because the newspapers are prevented from running the good stories on complaints against lawyers - as you can see.

I've added you to my messenger.

#anonymous (another one afraid to leave their real name it seems)

Well, that's not the vew of a few news eds, but I'll stick with it thanks. There will be no emails published for now but I also have records of meetings & phone calls with the same issues discussed - don't forget those either.

May I suggest you come up with a new arguement - yours too is past it's sell by date - which is why we need independent regulation of lawyers & complaints against the legal profession.


I'll answer that one myself as one who has tried to claim against the Master Insurance Policy.

The Law Society of Scotland have a policy of destroying client claims of negligence, at any cost. That has been the case for years - plenty evidence there, from the effort which was put in to get Andrew Penman off the hook, to Douglas Mill lying in front of the Justice 2 Committee on how he fiddled the MacKenzie's claim (as well as a few others he didn't bother to mention).

Ben Nevis said...

Peter, I don't think I've ever seen so many comments on your webblog, so I will add mine.

Your story is NOT past it's sell by date as far as most people are concerned, which is why the Scottish Consumer Council & many others support independent regulation of the legal profession.

You are NOT ALONE as you rightly point out, in terms of clients being maligned by solicitors, and you are NOT ALONE as one who had their complaints against several legal firms ruined by the Law Society of Scotland to protect their own.

If your cases were old news, we simply wouldn't be talking about the Legal Profession & Legal Aid Bill, which I, and many others ADMIRE you for campaigning to bring to the Parliament for all these years. Also, you would not have the support of the likes of the Scottish Consumer Council, who equally respect you for your efforts.

Let me say this.

In my experience as a journalist, I have noted those who support lawyers, are usually lawyers, or usually linked to the legal profession in some way.There are even some who sadly call themselves journalists who fall into this category but who are little more than paid mouthpieces for the legal profession.

Whenever we have a story on a crooked lawyer, the same people from the legal profession call in to ask how strong we are going with the story, and remind us of how the Law Society is there to regulate lawyers & how good a job it does. It has almost become a running bet at what time of day we get the call.

To the legal profession & their supporters reading this webblog.

You can attack Peter Cherbi all you want. You can dispute his case. You can threaten him. You can obstruct his right to campaign against a terrible injustice, but you do yourselves no good. The man is determined. The man is a victim of a terrible injustice, which has gone on far too long. Attacking victims is not good publicity, and only shows us how much a threat the legal profession thinks Peter Cherbi and others like him are.

Peter Cherbi said...

Obviously I have antagonised some people with this article. Good.

The Scotsman once supported independent regulation of the legal profession. There were editorials to that effect several times attached to my articles and on reports on other complaints cases.

The Scotsman since around 2002 ended its calls for independent regulation of the legal profession after 'intimidation' from the Law Society of Scotland.

# Ben Nevis

Thanks for your support. I'm glad some people are able to see through the lies put about by the Law Society of Scotland.

I would urge newspapers not to be intimidated into dropping stories on crooked lawyers or printing 'retractions' to their articles on crooked lawyers & how the top brass of the Law Society tell lies in front of Parliamentary Committees.

Stand up to these legal bullies please - because they leave a trail of victims much greater than just myself.

Archie said...

Hey Pete

Congrats on all the comments. Proves your blog is being read by the right people then !!!!!

haha they are arguin your not newsworthy but they are here readin & leavin comments. LOL !!

Lawyers ahoy - get back to ripping off your clients instead of surfin the web !!!!

reader said...

You make serious allegations here & no one seems challenged them.People say there is no case to answer but you got huge headlines and from what I see, there is a lot to answer.

I'd say you came up with a winner, considering that retraction in the Herald on the story about Mr Mill & the memos before your Parliament.

Makes you wonder whats not appearing in the papers.