Thursday, January 03, 2008

Justice Secretary MacAskill insists on second class legal system for Scotland as England names & shames crooked lawyers

There are around 10,000 solicitors in Scotland as many of you well know, and all of those solicitors are members of the Law Society of Scotland. If solicitors are not members of the Law Society of Scotland, they are not allowed to practice law and you are not allowed to choose anyone to represent your most delicate legal affairs who is either not a member of the Law Society of Scotland or who isn't regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.

There are many solicitors within that vast army of 10,000 members of the Law Society of Scotland, who have client complaint records as long as your arms & legs put together, many of those complaints relating to things like .. embezzlement, theft, false accounting & billing, fraudulently altering clients documents, prolonging clients work & cases just to increase fees, theft of property, family homes, double dealing in property sales to see preferential bids & colleagues secure properties on the cheap .. and then there's the criminal complaints, many of which don't see the light of day simply because the Crown Office feels it's 'not proper' to prosecute a solicitor ... a decision the Law Society of Scotland seems to have a hand in too ...

So, if you go down to your solicitor's office today, you might be in for a big surprise, because you know nothing at all about them - nothing of their history, nothing of their client record, nothing of their regulatory record .. nothing at all.

You, as a prospective client, have to take at face value, what they tell you they can do, how competent they are, and how they go about their business ...

Solicitors certainly wont disclose their client complaint & regulatory records to you where perhaps they may have been through hundreds of client complaints of many serious offences .. and all whitewashed by their colleagues who regulate themselves ...

Solicitors wont for instance, tell you they faked up files to stop a complaint from being properly investigated where they stole 300,000 from a dead client. They wont tell you for instance, they created false statements & evidence to try and get themselves off the hook from an investigation into their dealings where, perhaps, they stole a client's home and sold it to a business partner.

Solicitors certainly wont tell you if they have embezzled clients money in the past and got away with it, or been subject to countless negligence claims which the good old Law Society of Scotland will cover up, just to keep them practicing and ripping off more clients.

Solicitors also wont tell you if they have any criminal records, maybe occasionally run drugs into the courts for their clients, organise a hit on a colleague to shut him up, that kind of thing ...

... and in all of this, Scotland's Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, is happy. Happy, that you, the client, have no chance at all to find out anything about your solicitor, how good or bad they are, how good or bad they have treated clients in the past, and how they have wormed their way out of complaints & investigations into their dealings, how they have avoided paying clients compensation after ruining them financially .. nothing of that at all .. Kenny MacAskill, wants all that kept secret .. doesn't want you finding out any of that .. is happy you just trundle along to your lawyers office and stick your head in the lion's mouth, ready to be chomped like the unknowing victim you are almost guaranteed to become.

Kenny MacAskill is so motivated to ensure you find out nothing about crooked lawyers, he vehemently rejected any independent regulation of his legal colleagues, to ensure they can carry on doing what they do best - fleecing their clients.

You can read more about Mr MacAskill's rejection of an independent regulator for Scotland's failing legal profession & dismal quality legal services and perhaps some of his odd, unexplained, rather protectionist and selfish motives for doing so, here : Justice Secretary rejects independent regulation of lawyers and public right of choice in legal services market

Some examples of Scotland's legal profession perhaps ?

Law Society of Scotland covers up history of crooked lawyer as new President indicates little change on pro lawyer anti client policies

Ten Scottish Legal Firms to avoid - a roll call of infamy

Crooked ex lawyer & Conservative Politician gets off lightly with 27 month sentence for fraud against disabled client

Lawyer caught in media sting bribing clients to defraud Legal Aid Board - the tip of an iceberg

Andrew Penman & Norman Howitt : Lawyer & accountant team up to ruin Cherbi executry estate

Your solicitor could be as bad as any of the above, and you wouldn't know anything about it, until it was too late ...

Well, that's not how it is now in England & Wales.

England & Wales, have again, gone one better than Scotland, and slipped the bounds of secrecy & protection for the crooked & guilty, with the English Solititors Regulatory Authority approving moves to allow solicitors who treat their clients badly and have poor service records, to be named & shamed, for all to see and all to know.

What's good enough for England though, isn't good enough for Scotland, as Mr MacAskill totally rejected the idea of a Solicitors Regulatory Authority, because he is still far too in love with the Law Society of Scotland and it's quest to retain a hand in regulating complaints against it's own members - something it has managed crookedly to do for far too long, which has given Scotland some of the worst standards of legal services in the developed world.

Why, since we have a Scottish National Party now in power, does the party allow the Justice Secretary to protect crooked lawyers from widely accepted & needed independent scrutiny, while also restricting the rights of Scots to freely choose their legal representatives ?

Is it the Scottish National Party's mission to protect crooked lawyers ?

Personally, I think not, as some within the SNP have eluded to me they have no love of the legal profession and there are of course, people within the SNP such as Cabinet Secretary John Swinney, a man who enjoys considerably more integrity compared with those others who emanate from the legal establishment and who are seemingly hell bent on preventing law reforms in the public interest.

Indeed, Mr Swinney has vigorously tackled the issues of corruption in the legal profession, seeking out & exposing particular points of shameful conduct, and well understands the problems as I have previously reported here: Law Society boss Mill lied to Swinney, Parliament as secret memos reveal policy of intervention & obstruction on claims, complaints.

Perhaps its just Mr MacAskill's mission to protect crooked lawyers then ... and if that is so, then we certainly do need a new Justice Secretary, because the rights of the public and values of the community have to be held over & above professional privilege and favouritism for one's colleagues ...

Let's see how the English are going to manage things from a report in the Times newspaper - something we in Scotland can only dream of it seems, while Mr MacAskill obstructs changes & reforms in the public interest ...

How about lets give us Scots the same rights and access to justice as the rest of the country... and lets give Scotland and Scots, a Happy New Year in the legal services market ...

The Times reports :

Public shame for lawyers who break the rules

Frances Gibb, Legal Editor

Thousands of solicitors who are found guilty each year of a range of crimes and misdemeanours, from ignoring letters to plundering clients’ money, are to be identified publicly.

Solicitors in England and Wales found guilty of breaching professional rules will be listed on a Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority (SRA) website open to the public.

The move took effect at the start of the year and is the latest initiative by the SRA, which is responsible for the training, standards and discipline of 100,000 solicitors. Details are expected to appear at the end of this month.

The Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal, which deals with the most serious cases of misconduct, publishes its findings. By the end of this year it will have dealt with more than 300 cases, 20 per cent up on last year. But hundreds more solicitors are disciplined by the authority for lesser offences of misconduct, which are dealt with privately. In the past 12 months from November 2006 1,984 solicitors had conditions put on their practising certificates and 351 were given warnings, rebukes and reprimands.

Peter Williamson, chairman of the board of the SRA, said: “The findings of misconduct that we deal with are not those most serious ones that go to the tribunal. But they are the majority, and you could say that any finding of misconduct is a serious matter in itself.

“This is about making our decision-making process transparent, which in turn helps create public confidence in the system for regulating solicitors by demonstrating where action has been taken. That is the most important thing.

“It will also provide information to the public to enable prospective clients to make a more informed choice, as well as enabling people to decide if a solicitor’s behaviour is such that it should be reported to us.”

All cases leading to a reprimand, rebuke, fine or conditions on practising certificates will remain on the website for three years, along with cases where the regulatory authority steps in to take over the running of a firm, for example when a solicitor has absconded with clients’ money. The website will also give details where the solicitor takes action to remedy a failing, such as refunding a client.

The regulatory authority came into effect a year ago as a body run independently from the Law Society, in a move to distance the regulation of the profession from the representative or trades’ union activities.


member said...

Not too happy about this at all.If Kenny wants to be a lawyer again he should go back to the profession and leave us to get on with Government.

I don't see any good coming out of his term as Justice Secretary at all and all this is just making things worse.

Anonymous said...

sounds reasonable the way you pitch it and only a crook would want to stop the naming and shaming of other crooks

nice one as usual and another own goal for baw heed kenny

Anonymous said...

I think I'd suspect a lawyers granny of being crooked after reading this.On the subject of that,what's the story on Douglas Mill's granny? Honest or what? HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

Yes Kenny you are right - keep all the names of crooked lawyers secret and perverts and child molesters secret so we don't know who they are or where they are.Keep the party donors names secret too and your legal aid claims secret and your own client complaint secret so we don't know anything about you.Always right Kenny aren't you just not when it comes to doing the right thing though.

Campaign to oust Kenny "No Justice" MacAskill said...

Peter said:

“Perhaps its just Mr MacAskill's mission to protect crooked lawyers then ... and if that is so, then we certainly do need a new Justice Secretary, because the rights of the public and values of the community have to be held over & above professional privilege and favouritism for one's colleagues ... ”

Yes, we certainly need a new Justice Secretary … and fast … for justice to prevail for those who are currently suffering the most appalling injustices in Scotland – under MacAskill, Salmond and the SNP’s corrupt, establishment-protecting, “Government”.

This is a man who protects ALL the so-called “professional” bodies in Scotland (not just his crooked lawyer buddies), even if it involves covering up YEARS of the most heinous abuse and neglect – to cover up for his friends and the sacred cows in the Edinburgh and Scottish establishment. He would rather see a human being suffer terribly (and I mean suffer) than challenge those who recklessly failed him over many years.

This is a man who is currently burying a huge damning case file (copious documents dating back many years, and photographs exposing the most appalling indifference, incompetence, inaction, recklessness, abuse, neglect and suffering) in his constituency office at SNP HQ, and in doing so is preventing the individual concerned getting access to any desperately needed professional / medical help and justice.

This is a man who, put bluntly, is the scum of the earth for covering up this case (and his inaction) over several years – sue if you dare Kenny.

If you and your readers want this man out of his INjustice portfolio, then I would suggest you all start to hound him about his involvement in this case; what he did (or didn’t do) over several years of the most appalling abuse and neglect; and what he is currently doing to cover up and bury that indifference, inaction and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice – for that is what this case of abuse and neglect is all about now … and was for many years.

I welcome MacAskill's rebuttal to these damning charges laid once again at his door - publicly or privately ... you know the contact details to offer that unreserved apology to the family concerned and make amends for your wrong-doing.

Anonymous said...

And they tell us we need independence ! What a lot of balls.Independence from London and straight into the control of lawyers.

Keep yer dictatorship Kenny MacASSkill we dinnae need it and yer lawyer old pals act

Anonymous said...

Lots of comments and all negative towards Mr MacAskill.Time to go Kenny and let someone more capable do the job ?

Promise you wont run off in the huff to the Tories or FibDems (if they will even have you)

Anonymous said...

Easy to see now why the SNP were vague on justice before the election.
Kenny MacAskill was & is the wrong choice as Justice Minister and I suspect Salmond is either stuck with him or doesn't have the authority in the party to get rid of him over his outrageous protection of lawyers.

If Salmond doesn't do something about this he risks becoming as big a joke as the rest of the numpties and inst it noticable the regular hootsmon SNP forum trollers aren't even defending Kenny's "protect crooked lawyers" policy ?

seems only a crooked lawyer will defend crooked lawyers these days don't you know !

bailey said...

MacAskill isn't much good as justice secretary if we are getting second class service to England.Is he afraid that someone he knows or himself might end up named as a crooked lawyer ?

Anonymous said...

anonymous - "Salmond is either stuck with him or doesn't have the authority in the party to get rid of him"

Glad someone else said that instead of Cherbi and spot on of course.SNP are all smoke & mirrors on justice - easy to see someone else is pulling the strings.

Anonymous said...

A lawyer should not be dictating Government policy which clearly is in his benefit.Kenny MacAskill is doing the SNP a lot of harm here and no amount of talking it up will benefit him or the party in any way.

He who defends a crooked lawyer is crooked himself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,wish I had known about this blog earlier.I have written a letter ditching my lawyer for tomorrow.He has been leading me up the garden path as you put it for a long time now and I will be putting in a complaint to the Law Society which might get nowhere but I will copy everything to you what I have been through.

There are no lawyers to be trusted in Scotland.Anyone who trusts a lawyer or takes it from them face value they are honest IS A FOOL.

Anonymous said...

I think we all need to move to England to get a lawyer by the looks of it.I suppose they will be plenty crooked ones down there too but probably not as many as in Scotland.

Scotland = crooked lawyers haven !

Peter Cherbi said...

@Anonymous @ 5pm

Not a bad idea.If your picture of legal services in Scotland is so corrupt, why bother trusting them at all.

If you know someone to be a robber, why hand thousands of pounds over to them for work you know they have messed up for many others.

Best thing is not to use them at all as you suggest.