Friday, June 06, 2008

Insurance monopoly over Scots professions & public services prevents public's access to justice

Why is it so difficult to sue a lawyer in Scotland many people ask ?

Well it is difficult to sue a lawyer because all lawyers are insured by the same insurance cartel – Marsh UK.

So if you can actually get a lawyer to take on your case against a lawyer who has say ... lost you a court case you had a good chance of winning .. or failed to give you good legal service which led to a substantial financial loss, even perhaps, the loss of your home ... the lawyer you hire to sue the lawyer who caused you the loss, will of course be insured by the same insurance cartel as the crooked lawyer.

Now, the fact that all lawyers are insured by the same insurance cartel might be argued by some as having nothing to do with the difficulty of getting a lawyer to sue a lawyer ... but we of course know different from the reality of things.

Actually, just say, your lawyer gives you poor legal service which leads to a substantial financial loss, and you hire another lawyer to sue them for negligence, which would entail obtaining the services of an Advocate, obtaining QC's opinion there was negligence present in your former legal agent's poor service to you, and eventually making it to the Court of Session .. you will find that your new lawyer, your Advocate, and the crooked lawyer who caused you the loss in the first place, will all benefit financially if your damages claim fails, or suffers a severe reduction in the settlement, if one is even agreed to.

In most cases involving client legal action against 'crooked' or negligent lawyers, your own legal agents and the lawyer who was negligent in handling your legal affairs, all receive financial bonuses if your claim for damages is either reduced, or thrown out.

On top of that, even your legal agents have a vested interest in your claim either being reduced or failing completely, because your success will increase their own annual payments into the insurance cartel which will be forced to pay out to you if you succeed. Good business, isn't it .. but not for you ... and of course, you are told nothing about this.

Whether you succeed or fail in your court action against a lawyer, you will then find your access to legal services blocked by the Law Society of Scotland, as you are put on a 'legal services blacklist' maintained by the legal profession naming people who have either complained against, or have taken legal action against lawyers.

Indeed, the Law Society of Scotland itself, has intervened many times directly in legal action against its own members, ensuring such cases fail at every turn. That interference from the profession's governing body has come from it's highest levels in many cases, where Chief Executives, past & present, have intervened to save crooked lawyers and the Law Society's insurance policy otherwise known as the Master Insurance Policy, from payout's to ruined clients.

Here are just a few examples of the Law Society of Scotland intervening in court actions against lawyers - to save their beloved, if corrupt, insurance cartel from paying out & admitting negligence ...

Douglas Mill steps into my own case against crooked lawyer Andrew Penman & the Law Society of Scotland’s complaint fiddling …

Scotsman 5 June 1998 Law Society accused of closing ranks as claimi fails

Former Law Society boss Kenneth Pritchard intervenes to halt a client’s legal representation in a case against crooked lawyers …

Policy is to protect both says Law Society - Kenneth Pritchard

Douglas Mill again intervenes in client claims & complaints against solicitors, tells a few lies about it at Parliament too …

The Herald 5 June 2006 - Would granny swear by the law society

Insidious isn't it ... the legal profession in Scotland have been doing this for years - making sure that anyone who tries to sue a lawyer gets nowhere ... and anyone who dares complain against a lawyer gets no access to justice after that .. and politicians, from all parties who have been aware of this for years, have sat back and generally done nothing.

Why have politicians done nothing ? Well, its usually because the Law Society of Scotland will 'call them in' for questioning, or 'a good talking to' as some politicians who helped me over the years had to face ... and with the occasional threat banded about by the Law Society to those who may dare help someone denied access to justice, even the politicians slide into anonymity - happily it seems in some instances ...

The problem is, as you can see in all of this, there is an insurance cartel controlling the situation, backed up by the legal profession's governing body itself - who claim not to intervene in cases of complaint or financial claims against solicitors .. but they do, and one such incident was famously exposed by our very own Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, where the outgoing Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill just sat before the Justice 2 Committee and bizzarely lied through his teeth, attempting to deny the obvious content of his own memos, revealing a catalogue of intervention & interference in claims & complaints against solicitors in Scotland.

Law Society Chief Douglas Mill tells a few lies to John Swinney …

This problem however, is not limited to the legal profession.

Want to sue a Hospital or medial professional for negligence ? You will find the very same insurance cartel insure those same medical professionals you are trying to sue .. so your lawyers (if you can get someone to take on the case) will be insured by the same insurers who insure the medical professionals.

Want to sue an accountant or financial professional or financial institution ? You will find the very same insurance cartel insure those same accountants & financial professionals or institutions you are trying to sue .. so your lawyers (if you can get someone to take on the case) will be insured by the same insurers who insure accountants, financial professionals & financial institutions ...

Have a dispute with a local Government department, or even a department of the Scottish Government which has caused you financial loss through negligence, or breached your human rights or caused you a reason to sue them ? You will find the very same insurance cartel again, insure many of those workers and departments of local & national Government.

Have a dispute over a miscarriage of justice where the Crown Office failed to disclose material to your defence agents which would have seen you go free from court instead of being falsely convicted ? Well ... parts of the Crown Office, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Government Legal Service for Scotland (GLSS) are all dependent in some way on the same insurance cartel run by Marsh UK so .. a bit difficult to change a miscarriage of justice then …

Even a vet ? ... Taken your dog to the local vets to get a jag and came back with half a dog ? Well .. the odds are your vet is insured by the same insurance cartel for professional indemnity ... so if you want to recover the rest of your dog .. yes, its probably Marsh UK or one of the same insurance companies who will decide what happens to the other bits of your dog ...

Before you ask .. yes, many departments of the Scottish Government are still insured by Marsh UK, the same insurers of the Law Society of Scotland and many other professionals ... and you can find more about that in article I wrote about that earlier, where funnily enough, John Swinney, before he became Cabinet Secretary for Finance, asked questions on the previous Scottish Executive's dealings with Marsh UK.

My earlier report on the links between Marsh UK and the Scottish Executive, which have been sadly continued to this day : Corrupt Insurers of the Scottish legal profession linked to Scottish Executive

A very interesting monopoly don't you think ? Where one big insurance cartel, represented by among others, Marsh UK, control most of the professional indemnity insurance cover throughout public services, and the most popular or most required services from the private sector - in effect control the public's access to legal services & access to justice when the actions of those concerned may merit legal action from a member of the public.

Why haven't the OFT investigated this monopoly ?

Well, vested interests perhaps don't want this monopoly interested, particularly since departments of the OFT may just also be insured by a Marsh brokered deal too !

So ... trying to sue a lawyer or some other professional is next to impossible when dealing with one big insurance monopoly that even ex lawyers still pay into at a subsistence level ... to keep access to some of those nice fringe benefits of the likes of the Master Insurance Policy which they don't readily declare to the public if say for instance, they happen to be an ex lawyer politician ...

A solution to this ? Easy ....

Well, opening up the legal services market as well as opening up the indemnity insurance coverage market for the legal profession would just about do it .. but strong independent regulation of the legal profession would have to follow, and strict rules implemented on how solicitors deal with cases against other solicitors & legal representatives, such as negligence or other damages actions .. no more of the Marsh/Law Society claims fixing policies of the likes of Douglas Mill ... and believe me, we are talking about claims fixing here – where either the public have been prevented from getting access to legal services or their actual litigation has been purposely crippled against professionals insured by the same insurance cartels, involving the likes of Marsh UK.

Since the Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney knows all about the woes of dealing with insurance cartels such as Marsh UK .. and since the Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has paid quite a bit of money into that very same insurance cartel via his required subscriptions as a member of the Law Society of Scotland .. there should be no difficulty in the Government realising the extent of their mistake in allowing this to continue in Scotland ...

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you know Marsh broker the same deals for the BBC and a few newspapers.No bit surprise then why so many journalists have to back away from covering this kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Pure conflict of interest 100% and WHAT are the SNP going to do about it ???

Anonymous said...

Good posting and you certainly show the Master Policy up for what it is.

Start shouting about it a bit more and there will be change.Your problem though is getting the politicians to do something because half of them are in it up to their ears too.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting to say the least and even worse since the Scot Nats have apparently let this go on unchecked.The answer I think you should have said is to prohibit Marsh from ensuring more than a certain number of lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Spot on.

Not to be forgotten are the several allegedly independent insurance companies who were also revealed to be participating in 'the Marsh frauds' - involving casualty insurance and investigations into Legal Professional Indemnity Insurance provision.

But the company to ask in Scotland is Royal and Sun Alliance who - having been served with a subpeona - hurriedly sold up their American assets the following year.

Lord Lang - former President of the Board of Trade and Industry and a Board member of Marsh - is another source of information. He, together with several other Senior Executives has been cited in class actions on criminal charges including variously fraud, attempted fraud, misleading public officials, attempting to mislead public officials etc etc.

After an initial low key story from the Scotsman several years ago there has been a deafening silence from the Scottish Media ....why?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the lawyers are cooking the books for themselves and no one wants to talk about it for fear of upsetting them.
I SAY UPSET THE LAWYERS !

Anonymous said...

first comment : are you saying the BBC's relationship with Marsh compromised their coverage of the Marsh USA scandal or just that they wont cover this kind of stuff here in Britain

Anonymous said...

You sound like you know what you are writing about so I assume you have a lot of contact with lawyers.Don't you just want to wring their little necks sometimes?

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if you are responsible for this : http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article4048488.ece

I say that because I can't find anyone else who writes about the topic in such detail as you.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.08pm

Yes, I was aware of that thanks, and I agree there is the possibility such a relationship could influence reporting of matters.Whether it did or not is open to speculation ...

#Anonymous @ 4.36pm

I agree.You may want to draw this to the attention of your local SNP MSP ?

#Anonymous @ 5.31pm

I've been writing about this subject for a long time now ... the problem is that most of the politicians who could say something about it are co-opted by the people who benefit from this .. either that, or they join the bandwagon ...

#Anonymous @ 6.32pm

A fair comment, and I would agree with your point that Marsh should be limited to how many solicitors they can actually arrange insurance for ...

#Anonymous @ 6.34pm

I agree with your points and will cover some of that in a future article.

The time to ask questions and raise this as an issue is now.

#Anonymous @ 10.05am

Thanks for the link.

To answer your comment ... could be ... you never know where the OFT ger their ideas from sometimes .. and in this case, perhaps, a good idea ?

Anonymous said...

oh goody Peter is running the OFT now.I hope he sends all those f***ing lawyers to HELL !

wee rab said...

Yes without doubt what you are writing about is a huge insurance monopoly (scam) and needs to be investigated.

Keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

From the headline and depth of your article I take it you were in on the OFT thing.Good work!

Anonymous said...

You write very good.

Its the same over here in the US.This company Marsh is everywhere and we have plenty crooked lawyers too.

far & away said...

So its all about insurance and big money.What a surprise!.

Maybe Mr Salmond can feature Scotland's record number of crooked lawyers on his new website here :
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/scotPerforms

Scotland Performs :"Scotland has the most crooked lawyers in the whole world so come to Scotland to get ripped off!"

Anonymous said...

Your solution is easier said than done because this pack of wolves have got themselves into everything

Just imagine the dirt and blackmail threats if politicians decided to break this thing up

Anonymous said...

That cheap loans racket is nasty.I bet clients have been paying through the nose for that forever and with those parasite bankers and lawyers together no wonder no one has stood a chance of getting complaints heard properly.

Keep up the good work too !

D.Logan said...

I know exactly what you are talking about because I tried to get a lawyer to take my case against my former lawyer who had lost us our business.No lawyer will touch it and one was very honest with us telling me the Law Society "would not allow" lawyers to sue lawyers" so I support you 110%.This menace has to end of lawyers being a law unto themselves and all the cases like ours they have done nothing on must be resolved just like you are campaigning for.

Anonymous said...

D.Logan : The Law Society are not allowed to "not allow" lawyers to sue other lawyers.

I'm sure you will find there are plenty lawyers in the profession who are willing to take on the bad apples which all professions must endure.

Anonymous said...

To the 8.19am post - The self regulating Law Society of Scotland have, and continue to be allowed to do as the article decribes and the personal experience of many confirms.

Not least of these was the former Legal Services Ombudsman Linda Costelloe-Baker who stated on record that the Law Society of Scotland had stubbornly failed to answer the same question when put by them over a period of some 15 years.

Anonymous said...

No great surprise the OFT are listening to Mr Cherbi.Given the level of detail in his stories on the Master Policy and the Banks it was only a matter of time before someone picked up on it.

Good work.Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure you will find there are plenty lawyers in the profession who are willing to take on the bad apples which all professions must endure."

NAME ONE ?

Anonymous said...

- last comment : That'll be none then !

Anonymous said...

By the looks of it there are no lawyers to name who will sue another lawyer! Perfect example of someone making a smartass comment and not being able to back it up!

Peter Cherbi said...

"D.Logan @ 9.26pm

Please contact me with more details on your case or post them in a comment here.

#Anonymous @ 8.19am

As others have said, please name a lawyer or a few, or even a few legal firms which do take on crooked lawyers ... you never know, you might just generate some much needed business for the legal profession by naming names here ...

Some interesting comments all of you ... and you can be rest assured that for years, the banks and lawyers have had a very cosy arrangement at the cost of the client.

Perhaps now its time that clients be told the full horrors of that 'arrangement' between banks & the legal profession, where for years clients money and assets have been used to barter for personal finance deals and access to a whole range of financial incentives & cheap loans etc ... nothing that clients were never once informed their 'custom' and money would be used in such a way.

Don't forget the Master Policy too .. brokered by Marsh and underwritten by many of the leading Insurers in the UK and High Street Banks, who ensure these cosy financial arrangements which certainly benefit lawyers but not clients.

Anonymous said...

That answers quite a bit.You certainly spilled the beans on that one Peter.Good for you.

Anonymous said...

There isn't such a thing as an honest insurance company and I am not surprised how the lawyers handle things.

The whole thing is utterly corrupt and people such as those reported in those newspaper stories should be in jail for what they have done to others.

I doubt anyone will name a lawyer who will take on a lawyer either.Such a lawyer DOES NOT EXIST because they are all part of the same club to keep everything under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

Almost everyone who complains against a lawyer gets their name added to a huge list at the Law Society and if people really knew what kind of detail Yelland & Co kept on them, the crooks at the Law Soceity would (and should) all be thrown in jail.