Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Justice Secretary seeks Scottish solution for legal reform as Tories urge lawyers should get their own way

Kenny MacAskill seeks a "Scottish Solution" to giving wider access to justice & legal services but what "Scottish Solution" is our dear Cabinet Minister talking about ?

The attempt 17 years ago via the Law Reform (Misc Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 to open up the legal services market via Sections 25-29 ? Surely not ... it's been a whole 17 years since that was put on the books, and hardly a cheep cheep from the SNP or anyone else for that matter.

Maybe Mr MacAskill is talking about another "Scottish Solution" to opening up the legal services market - such as the one put forward by former Lord Advocate Lord Hardie - which was to bury the whole thing and let the lawyers keep their monopoly, as I reported here :

Former Lord Advocate Andrew Hardie revealed as major obstacle in removing lawyer-advocate monopoly on legal representation

Enough of the "Scottish Solutions" please !

The Scotsman today reports that rather than taking the OFT recommendations for opening up access to legal services in Scotland : "Instead, Mr MacAskill wants to work out a solution with the profession in Scotland, not have a decision imposed on him."

Yes, fine, that's great .. but who will be leading who in such an arrangement? Will there be another tantrum from the legal profession at the next meeting going something like - If you don't give us what we want, the deal over the legal aid strike & case boycotts is off ?

The previous Scottish Executive introduced the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, which had a rough ride through Parliament, and was the subject of threats of legal action from the Chief Executive of the Law Society if the Bill as it was passing through Parliament wasn't amended to the legal profession's satisfaction. What happened ? the bill was amended, although not fully to the lawyers preferences.

One of those who raised amendments for the Law Society of Scotland - Tory MSP Bill Aitken, pops up in this debate urging the Executive to refuse to implement the OFT's recommendations, reports the Scotsman in the following quote : "I urge the new Scottish government to resist these plans."

Quite clear that Bill Aitken MSP is definitely not interested in the consumer interest and the rights of the Scottish public to wider access to justice - an awful view indeed coming from the Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee. Perhaps he needs replaced as Convener if he is so decidedly against wider access to justice ?

Why has Bill Aitken and his colleagues not made more of the fact we've had the laws in place in Scotland since 1990 - via the Law Reform (Misc Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 to open up the legal services market ?

The 1990 Law Reform (Misc Provisions) Act was passed by a Tory government after all .. but little has been done with it in the past 17 years .. and not a cheap from Mr Aitken or colleagues on this fact ... and even less from the SNP, where many of it's own members, including Mr MacAskill's ministerial colleagues, have had problems with lawyers & the Law Society of Scotland.

Here's some examples of a fine "Scottish Solution" to access to justice & problems in the legal profession

John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Business, has spoken in Parliament for constituents who have had severe problems with the legal profession in Scotland. Since Mr Swinney's remit does cover Business & Finance, I would hope, he has some critical things to say about the legal services market issue which is controlled by the legal profession as a monopoly and perhaps Mr Swinney may wish to contribute to the OFT recommendations given his first hand experience on such issues ....

Here's John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Enterprise talking about one such case, among many...

To our Justice Minister - Mr MacAskill - Please give the Scottish public as good a chance of access to justice as England & Wales ... surely the public deserve a shout now rather than the professions who are more interested in money & profit than giving everyone access to legal services.

and while we're at it, how about a "Scottish Solution" to changing the top notchers over in Drumsheugh Gardens ? because they are getting very far from top notch these days ...

Here's Douglas Mill .. 'welcoming in the OFT's reforms' to BBC News, which I just happened to find on the internetl luckily ..... but a rather different policy is being pursued by Mr Mill & colleagues, where the Law Society are going to keep control of the qualifications required to enter the legal market .. thus limiting who practices law yet again .. and limiting who gets access to legal services !

Over to the Scotsman report on Mr MacAskill's view ... how long until the big "DoH" ?

MacAskill seeks Scots solution to law reform


MINISTERS insisted yesterday they would not be pushed into introducing full competition into Scotland's law services, despite a call by the UK's competition watchdog to lift restrictions.

The Office of Fair Trading has recommended current rules on how legal services are provided be reformed to open up the profession to competition from new providers, including high-street banks and supermarkets.

Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Secretary, has three months to formally reply to the OFT but yesterday his spokesman said that, while the minister accepted the current situation could not continue, he would not just follow the OFT's decision.

Instead, Mr MacAskill wants to work out a solution with the profession in Scotland, not have a decision imposed on him.

Law services in England are being deregulated and the OFT believes Scotland should go the same way.

But the Executive spokesman said Mr MacAskill did not believe it was right just to follow the English example; instead, he wanted a "Scottish solution".

The spokesman said: "The Justice Secretary has already made clear that the status quo is not an option. However, he is equally insistent that he does not see any point in the profession blindly following the approach of the profession south of the border.

"We are looking for the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society to help design distinctively Scottish solutions."

Douglas Mill, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, also took a cautious approach, saying he wanted to develop an intrinsically Scottish solution.

Mr Mill said: "The Society wants to see Scotland's legal profession thrive in today's global market. What we must ensure, though, is that Scotland seeks its own solutions and that access to justice and protection of the public remain core."

Colin Gray, managing partner of McGrigors LLP, one of the country's biggest law firms, welcomed the OFT's ruling, claiming that, if implemented by the Executive, it would allow ambitious firms to grow.

"Such liberalisation will enable providers of legal services to gain access to more capital, attract and retain talent and develop new service lines," he said.

But Bill Aitken, the Conservatives' justice spokesman, warned that the changes might result in big businesses "muscling in" and squeezing out smaller firms.

"These measures will cost more, reduce rather than increase choice and result in a loss of legal expertise," he said.

And he added: "I urge the new Scottish government to resist these plans."


Anonymous said...

Maybe Kenny MacAskill means he's going to gas anyone who doesn't bow to his colleagues in the legal industry ?

Anonymous said...

Quite the madman this Mill chappy and whats with oor SNP telling Scotland to get stuffed over 'access to legal services'.

THanks for bringing this out Cherbi - my vote will be going somewhere else next time and not to the tories either !

Rab said...

More backtracking from the SNP.It's time they were out!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting comments from you and others on that Scotsman story.

I liked the part where you asked the lawyer? to represent you and others and he came back and said he couldnt!

cop out cop out!

Terry said...

Hi Peter

Yes I just read the postings on the Herald forum pretending to be you. Hope you get it resolved after reporting it.

It's a pity the newspapers can't get their act together on forum standards and do something about the likes of these idiots.

In a perfect world, identity thieves would be prosecuted & thrown in the rape den at Saughton for a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

lol- terry

Hey but the lawyers might enjoy being raped in Saughton ? oh no sorry I forgot lawyers only rape kids as the charge sheets read of a few of their kind

Anonymous said...

terry - oor wee peter must be upsetting the lawyers so much they are desperate enough to fake his posts

that says enuff to me that what pete says is all true and we need rid of these fucking lawyers

Anonymous said...

Kenny MacAskill is a fantasist if he thinks there should be a separate solution on access to legal services north of the border.

Are all you scots going to have to come down to England to get justice ?

Why did you bother voting in the SNP then along with their double act friends the tories.

Anonymous said...

I like what you said to that brian guy in the herald comments section.Too right its all about abuse and how the lawyers have got away with it for so long.Keep up reporting the problems with lawyers because its work like this thats bringing in the changes !

Mary said...

Keep speaking up Peter

Many people are relying on you in this quest because of all the dirt tricks the lawyers have done to us.

best of luck !

Anonymous said...

shameful of the SNP to cuddle up to the crooked lawyers or is it the crooked lawyers who are cuddling up to the SNP ?

whats so bad about letting people choose who they want to handle their legal affairs ? MONEY OF COURSE AND WHO GETS IT

Peter Cherbi said...


The matter was taken care of, but you probably saw that by now.


I will, no worries.


I expect to be criticised of course - give & take is what it's all about, but the critics prefer to rubbish the debate too, which is exactly what they say complainers & campaigners do via making "general sweeping statements against the legal profession"

No matter, the new Executive is leakier than the old - plenty staff willing to talk and dish the dirt on what happens at meetings so more revelations on the way.

Oh, thanks to the poster who sent in the details of a certain ex lawyer's legal aid claims .. should I release that ? What about his current job ....?

Anonymous said...

Giving you a hard time are they.Well remember what I said kid, youre wasted in Scotland.
Get off your butt and come to the US where your talents will earn you a lot more than any of those arrogant at the Law Society.
Get somewhere in life and be someplace you will be recognised for what you do.
I'm an attorney and take it from me we are not all bad. email me sometime

Anonymous said...

I like the comment "ranger rover behind mill" etc....

could have found a nice use for that too !

keep up the writing mate its great stuff !

Anonymous said...

Kenny MacAskill is such a fool if the thinks he can improve access to legal services with his own silly idea.

Who would people believe -a former? lawyer bending over for his pals to keep them in the style they have been used to or consumer organisations ?

Anonymous said...

Most solicitors I know can't stand the sight of Mill so you aren't alone Mr Cherbi.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Cherbi

I read in one of your articles about someone who complained against their lawyer who suffers from multiple sclerosis.From what you wrote of it, the poor person died and their family got nowhere with the Law Society complaints office.I too have a similar problem and have not been able to get my complaint properly investigated.

I had to go into hospital for a serious operation and while away I left the keys of my home and my will with my solicitor who I had known and used for 10 years.

My treatment was successful I'm happy to say but when I arrived home I was told by my neighbours my solicitor had visited my house many times in the evening with people.I also found some items damaged and was landed with a very large phone & electricity bill which was very strange as I was in hospital for 3 weeks.More is that there have been withdrawals from my bank account when I was in hospital and the Bank I use has refused to give me information saying it was impossible anyone else could have withdrawn it even though i was in hospital

I complained to the Law Society Mr Yelland and they first said they would look into it then a deputy secretary sent me a letter saying there was no case for complaint and they had closed the case and if I was not safisfied I could take it to the Scottish legal services ombyudsman.

I am very sad that this person has done this to me after so long of knowing him and would never trust another lawyer again.please could I contact you for advice.

Anonymous said...

anonymous - and what was that lawyer doing in your home all the time ? You should call the Police and get him arrested

Peter Cherbi said...

#anonymous @ 5.51pm

Contact me via email in my profile or post information on your case to me via the comments section, marking it "Do Not Publish"

Your case sounds like a good one for some media attention.

Anonymous said...

Some good news for a change.

My lawyer decided to charge me for 4 meetings at 40 minutes each but the reality was me dropping off documents to his secretary no more than 4 minutes at most for each meeting.

He decided to get nasty so I said I would let Peter Cherbi know about what happened and the account was dropped.

Thanks Peter for being the bogeyman against lawyers.Saved me about £350.When I get my files I will let you have some copies because if he did it to me hes probably done it to others.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Mill looks a proud man with all that blood on his hands.
It must pay well to keep crooked lawyers off the hook

Al said...

#anonymous @ 4.25am (US attorney)

Peter is greatly needed in Scotland, so "hands off our man!"

One of the most helpful, decent, honest and tenacious guys i know - despite what the crooks at the Law Society may say about him ... or the "arrogant", as you rightly put it!

You may be interested in this comment from a Frank Shaw in Atlanta re Scotland's esteemed Cabinet Secretary "FOR JUSTICE" (a misnomer if ever there was one ... the man is an utter charlatan and fraud, as Frank et Al warned):

254. Frank R. Shaw, Atlanta, GA, USA / 8:40pm 16 May 2007

Kenny for Justice? What a joke! He reminds me of when the Campbells turned on their hosts, the MacDonalds, at Glencoe since he ate my food, drank my wine, slept in my home, enjoyed me taxing him around Atlanta, and interviewed my friends about Scots in the South for his book Everywhere the Saltire Flies and then went on to write about racism without having mentioned this was his intention when he came to Atlanta to research his book. I DOUBT HE WILL BE ANYMORE TRUTHFUL AS JUSTICE MINISTER. I'm glad you have him and not us! He will always be Kenny "Hiden Agenda" MacAskill to me and my friends. Very slick. Very unprofessional. Not truthful at all! This is not offensive since it is documented. You better watch him! Frank

And i can confirm everything Frank rightly observed about the man ... definitely not to be trusted and will NEVER bring "JUSTICE" to those seeking to take on his fellow lawyers or the Edinburgh and Scottish establishment ... NEVER!

People of Scotland: On Thursday 3 May 2007 you elected (JUST!) an SNP Government and, with it, hoped for major changes to Scotland's greatly-discredited Scottish Justice System. You will NEVER get proper "JUSTICE" or radical reforms under that former lawyer or his SNP-ruling Scottish Executive.

In short...


Peter Cherbi said...

#anonymous @4.31pm

Glad I could help and please let me know the lawyer and his firm details.

#anonymous @ 6.32pm

Yes, Douglas Mill is very proud of what he does, and so are the rest of the bunch at the Law Society of Scotland. Imagine being proud of covering up corruption, does that make them accessories after the fact ?

#Al @10.31pm

Thanks, that's an interesting comment from the Scotsman, worth chasing up. I hope the author reads this blog, and if there's any information for a story .. there's always a good home for it here.

Speaking of stories, it seems a kind person from SLAB has sent me an email with certain points worth addressing. More to come on that later on.

Don't worry Al, my home is Scotland, despite what the 'Mill & Yelland Gang' have tried to do to me.

Anonymous said...

If the americans want him he shold go

I read his life has been ruined by lawyers in Scotland and probably many other people than he so cant get on in life with these bastards on his back

Anonymous said...

Dont like lawyers ? Neither do I.Thieves the lot of them."Join the club "

Anonymous said...

Very convincing site Peter and I like your links.

I think I'd rather use the poisoned chinese toothpaste now than use a Scottish lawyer !

Al said...

Peter said:

"Don't worry Al, my home is Scotland, despite what the 'Mill & Yelland Gang' have tried to do to me."

VERY glad to hear that Peter.

That huge brain of yours (the size of Scotland!), with all the knowledge and experience you have amassed over the past 13 or more years (whilst being treated like dirt by the crooks at the Law Society, ICAS and elsewhere), is indeed greatly needed here to help others whose lives, in many instances, have been completely ruined due to incompetent, negligent and crooked legal "representation" by the supposed "great and the good" associated with Scotland's Justice system ... those many Scots who have absolutely no redress available to them because of the CRIMINAL way they operate at the Law Society when you try to complain about misrepresentation and wrong-doing.

Pity there weren't a lot more like you amongst Scotland's 10,000-plus lawyers, in their HQ at Drumsheugh Gardens and within Scotland's minority-ruling SNP "Government" ... especially at the helm of our "JUSTICE" Department.

All good wishes,


PS. You know where to send the cheque Peter ... so long as it doesn't bounce this time!!!

AL AWYER said...

Oh i see you have supporters Mr Cherbi but I'm not one of them

The sooner we get rid of you and all your kind the better for us.

Pity someone wouldn't blow you up along with the rest of these nutcases and your friends.

Anonymous said...

Tip: Bill Aitken - plenty in his past to keep the tabloids happy.

Al said...

al awyer @ 4.28pm said:

"Pity someone wouldn't blow you up along with the rest of these nutcases and your friends."

Couldn't have put it better myself Mr Law Society ... Mr Mill perchance!?!

SOD OFF ... asshole(s)!

Anonymous said...

al lawyer are you pissed off how Peter writes about crooked lawyers ?
How many clients have you got rid of then ?

Anonymous said...

Heard any more about this story Peter ? It looks like theres a lot of sickos in the legal profession !

EXCLUSIVE High-flier accused by male lawyer
By Jane Hamilton

A HIGH-FLYING lawyer has been accused of sexually assaulting a male solicitor at a legal function.

Advocate Gavin Anderson, 34, was reported to the procurator fiscal over the allegation.

Although prosecutors decided he would not face criminal charges, he will now be investigated by the Faculty of Advocates, his professional body.

The alleged victim is based in Glasgow. He says he was assaulted at a function in the city by Anderson, who is from Edinburgh.

A source close to the Faculty of Advocates said: "A complaint has been made following a report to the police and is subject to investigation by the discipline committee.

"They will take their time examining all the evidence before deciding what action, if any, to take.

"It's very unusual for an advocate to be subject of a police investigation and most people are very surprised."

Aberdeen University graduate Anderson became a member of the Faculty of Advocates five years ago after winning a scholarship.

At 29, he was one of the youngest lawyers ever to become a member of the body, which regulates Scotland's elite trial lawyers.

He is a member of the Westwater Stable - or group of advocates - and his professional interests include criminal trials and fatal accident inquries.

A team of investigators for the Faculty, which has 460 members, have been instructed to interview all those concerned in the case and report their findings to the disciplinary committee.

A Faculty spokesman said yesterday: "It is not our policy to discuss whether or not a member of the faculty is the subject of disciplinary proceedings."

A Strathclyde Police spokesman confirmed that a report had been submitted to the procurator fiscal last year over an allegation of indecent assault.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The fiscal received a report from police last year regarding an allegation of indecent assault but decided not to proceed with the case."

When approached at his Edinburgh flat, Anderson refused to comment.

Peter Cherbi said...

#al awyer @ 4.28pm

I don't normally publish such comments, but it looks like you are the same person from the Herald forum who threatened me using the same quote ? If you are a lawyer you are doing your cause no good, but you're consistent with your colleagues attempts to kill off any debate not controlled by the legal profession.

#Al@ 6.00pm

Mill prefers the sneak attack - but I'm sure he would raise a glass to the prospect !

#anonymous @6.52pm

Yes, the Gavin Anderson case is well known thanks. If you have something to add to it, you can email me or add to the comments section marking it "Do not publish".

Anonymous said...

I sense the lawyers are getting desperate against you Mr Cherbi.Thats good because it will show them up for what they are as you say.CROOKS EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM

Anonymous said...

Well what's the latest on Mcidiot's Scottish solution to your legal problems in Scotland ? Fell apart like everything else to do with the SNZP ?

Anonymous said...

What a bizarre story on that advocate Anderson.

What methods of sexual assault do they teach the men in the Scottish legal profession these days ? Do these people only confine themselves to attacking men/boys ? Why do the cops keep letting them off ?

Should LLB be changed tp RLP "rape loot & pillage"

Anonymous said...

lol RLP !!!
Yes this is the profession Kenny MacAskill is so proud of - full of Crooks Creeps & Perverts !

Ed said...

The comments are nearly as interesting as the main post.

It's MacIdiot not McIdiot and yes he is such an amateur at Justice !

I know someone who had Anderson as their QC.Can't wait to tell them about that Sunday Mail story.

Keep up the good work Peter.Never seen such a good write up on lawyers in my life !

tattie collector said...

May I join in the fun and say I used a firm I see you had problems with too Peter.

Messrs Turnbull Simpson & Sturrock in Jedburgh.

Never seen such a bunch of rogues in my life.I think they charge people for breathing in the air in their office.

Do you miss Jedburgh at all ? I was talking to a friend of yours the other day in the High Street and he said he wished you will and had read this website.

Anonymous said...

Anderson is still practising so nothing much happened though I wouldn't recommend bending over near to him :D

Anonymous said...

Bill Aitken formerly of the insurance industry protecting lawyers.Whats in it for him them ?

Anonymous said...

Its enough to make one want to flee the country.
Have these crooked bastards driven anyone out of Scotland yet ?

Anonymous said...

Very strong blog Mr Cherbi.Much better than the fluffy stories we get about lawyers in the hootsmon from time to time.

Keep nipping at their ankles Mr border terrier !

sleepless in Glasgow said...

I agree with Al

Scotland needs more like you.Lets get out and expose all these bloody crooks once and for all