Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Justice Secretary MacAskill denies knowledge of ‘claims fixing’ memos identifying former law chief sent to Judicial Appointments

When questioned today over why former Law Society President Martin McAllister was appointed to the Judicial Appointments Board, despite being identified by Cabinet Secretary John Swinney MSP in memos detailing a claims & complaints fixing scandal operted by the Law Society of Scotland, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill denied through his spokesman, any knowledge of the offending memos, which have been available at the Scottish Parliament, in the media, and even on the internet for some time now, and which continue to rock Scotland's legal establishment.

Kenny MacAskill denies existence of memosKenny MacAskill denies existence itself ? : “Mr McAllister was appointed through fair and open competition by an independent panel. We are not aware of any formal complaint about Mr McAllister’s role in relation to claims and complaints during his time as President of the Law Society of Scotland, and no evidence has been presented to us which would raise any questions over the decision of the selection panel.”

The now well known memos to everyone except the Justice Secretary himself, were revealed by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney MSP, who identified a particular memo from Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill to the then Law Society President Martin McAllister as being the key to a claims & complaints fixing scandal which saw clients claims against crooked lawyers ruined by a well practiced policy of delay & destruction of claims & complaints against multiple firms of crooked lawyers.

John Swinney, a trustworthy manJohn Swinney reveals a memo : "I am interested in what the witnesses have just said about the Law Society having nothing to do with the arrangements for handling negligence claims. I have in front of me a memorandum in connection with the case of one of my constituents. It was issued by Mr Mill on 5 July 2001.”

"Mr Mill's memo was written to the then president of the Law Society, Mr McAllister. It refers to the broker of the master policy. Mr Mill suggests that it would be good if he and the others involved all got together and had a "summit meeting" to discuss how to dispose of my constituent's "several valid claims". Mr Mill and I have discussed the matter at length over the years, but I find that a rather strange memo if it is to sit comfortably with the statement that the president has just made.

The memo of 5 July encourages "a summit meeting on the up-to-date position"to be held to look at "both the complaints and the claims aspects." That rather suggests that the Law Society has been involved. The claim remains unresolved to date and yet the memo is dated 5 July 2001."

Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney identifies Martin McAllister in memos which revealed the Law Society's claims & complaints fixing scandal to protect crooked lawyers

The claims fixing scandal, which involved senior members of staff at the Law Society of Scotland, apparently headed in an operation by Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill, saw a policy implemented by the Law Society and some of the UK's largest insurers, Royal Sun Alliance PLC, and Marsh UK to delay and destroy client claims and complaints against notorious Scots legal firms with poor regulatory records.

Law Society Chief Exec Douglas Mill's memo to Martin McAllister - ‘We have to stop the MacKenzie's claims dead and prevent their testimony to a Parliamentary investigation’

Douglas Mill Memo to Martin MacAllister 5 July 2001

The Law Society of Scotland

To: Martin McAllister
CC: David Preston, Philip Yelland
FROM : Douglas Mill
DATE : 5 July 2001

Could you sign this letter ? I have discussed with Alistair Sim and I think a holding letter is ideal. Alistair confirms that there is never any question of the Mackenzies sending out hard copy letters. There is a saga here and you will recall I intimated this to you and David by copying Alistair Sim's email of 8 June. David has asked for a one page summary on the Mackenzie's position, which is quite frankly an impossibility !.

The Mackenzies I would say are different from some of the other complainers in as much as they have several valid claims, they have been let down by a series of solicitors but they are unreasonably in their expectations of quantum etc. Rather than trivialise matters I would recommend that the four of us i.e. you, me, David Preston and Alistair Sim all get an hour or so together some time in July to have a summit meeting on the up-to-date position looking at both the complaints and claims aspects. there is no doubt that Mr Mackenzie is intelligent and well organised individual who would unlike some of the other thorns in our flesh, come over very well at a JHAC investigation.


Clearly the memos do indeed, identify the then Law Society President Martin McAllister as being part of the fray which prevented the MacKenzies claims & complaints against a number of solicitors from progressing to any reasonable conclusion.

Indeed, since the date of the memo (2001), none of the claims identified within the memo, or by John Swinney in his confrontation with Douglas Mill before the Scottish Parliament's Justice 2 Committee during 2006 have been settled. Not one. In fact, not one claim or complaint by those who submitted their cases to the Justice 2 Committee during 2006 have been settled. Not one.

So in conclusion, Douglas Mill’s memo to Martin McAllister has resulted in a very successful policy by the Law Society of Scotland of protection for several firms of corrupt solicitors while significant and long lasting financial harm has been caused to the damaged lives of clients.

Mr McAllister has now been appointed to the Judicial Appointments Board, where he will be in part responsible for the appointment of lawyers to the positions of Sheriffs and Judges.

Inevitably some of those lawyers who come before the Judicial Appointments Board will have not the best of regulatory records, where complaints have been poorly handled by the Law Society of Scotland, possibly to the point those complaints have been dealt with by the ‘Douglas Mill doctrine’ contained in the memo to Mr McAllister, which is clearly ‘destroy the client’s access to justice at all costs’.

Is it fair to have lawyers appointing lawyers to positions of Judges ?

During the 2001 Justice 1 Committee “regulation of the legal profession inquiry’ which was heavily restricted in content & remit by the then Convener, Christine Grahame MSP (SNP), Martin McAllister, the then President of the Law Society of Scotland made the following comments :

Martin McAllister : “We are open to change and want to make improvements. It is proper that Parliament is reviewing the checks and balances that operate, but it is a fundamental right of citizens in a democracy that the legal profession is independent. Such a profession is a guarantor of the rights of citizens—and in Scotland we deserve no less.”

Well, eight years on from the date of Douglas Mill’s memo to Mr McAllister, there have been no improvements in regulating the legal profession, and still, the Law Society of Scotland impedes and prevents clients access to justice when it sees fit.

Martin McAllister went onto say during the 2001 J1 inquiry :The point is that the organisation is changing. We have made a number of changes in how we deal with complaints over the past 10 years. I do not think that the committee would find it useful to go through a list of those, but some key things are important in improving public perception, one of which is greater lay involvement. A second is the improvement in literature, so that the public have a much better idea of how we deal with complaints. We have brought with us our current, revised leaflets.”

What change ? The Law Society of Scotland hasn’t changed one bit over the past ten years, or the past twenty years for that. There is still a claims and complaints fixing policy to see that no claim or complaint goes to a fair & proper conclusion and clients who choose to complain are victimised almost to the point of death.

Christine Grahame’s Justice 1 Committee of 2001 forbade members of the public to appear before it to testify as to their experiences with the Law Society of Scotland, while lawyers, more Law Society officials, and just about anyone who could be dragged out to support the idea of self regulation (lawyers looking after complaints against lawyers) were allowed almost free reign to appear before the then Justice 1 Committee at the cost of excluding the Scots public.

It took a further five years until 2006 when members of the public, ordinary Scots like you and I, were able to appear at Holyrood during the 2006 LPLA Bill inquiry by the Justice 2 Committee and tell of how scandalous the Law Society of Scotland had treated them.

However, there are more memos which identify the then serving Law Society President (Martin McAllister) in the Law Society’s claims & complaints fixing scandal which eventually saw the resignation of Douglas Mill earlier this year, which I covered here : Breaking News : Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill who lied to Parliament, pursued 'personal vendetta' against critics - to resign

Marsh UK Director Alistair Sim to Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill - Collating information on the MacKenzies and throwing some red herrings at the Justice Committee ..

Alistair Sim  to Douglas Mill secret memo intervention in MacKenzie case

Email to Douglas Mill from Alistair J Sim

From: Alistair J Sim
Sent 03 July 2001 09:30
To: douglasmill; davidcullen
Subject JAHAC

Douglas / David

I have a couple of faxes from the MacKenzies intimating the sort of comments they say they will be conveying to the Justice Committee on 31 July. These do not call for any response from me.

Reference is made to evidence already given by the President and to a letter/fax the MacKenzies have sent to the President regarding their claims.

Could we discuss -

-whether any information is required from us/the insurers to enable the President to respond to the MacKenzies

-whether it will be appropriate to collate any information on the MacKenzies claims

-whether I or any of my colleagues or any of the claims team at RSA may be called to give evidence to the Committee.



Clearly Mr McAllister was privy to a great deal of information as Law Society President, information which could have ended the suffering of many clients who had been trying to pursue claims or complaints against their solicitors, but as the facts show, no action was taken by Mr McAllister to alleviate clients problems at the hands of his colleagues Douglas Mill, Philip Yelland & others at the Law Society of Scotland.

To a certain extent of course, Martin McAllister was but a tool of Douglas Mill, as the President of the Law Society of Scotland is more of an honorary position, the real power lying with the slightly dictatorial position of Chief Executive.

Clearly Mr McAllister could have done more, said more, and helped clients who were caught in the Douglas Mill doctrine much more than has happened, because as we hear from Mr Swinney himself, no client, no claim has been settled, not one.

Perhaps the memos identifying Mr McAllister in the claims & complaints fixing operation run by the Law Society of Scotland should have surfaced as a possible barrier to being appointed to the Judicial Appointments Board, which is a position itself responsible for the appointment of lawyers to positions on the judiciary.

Before I quote the Justice Secretary’s Press Release on the McAllister appointment, I feel a footnote is required on the second appointment contained in the Press Release, that of Lady Smith.

Lady Smith, appointed along with Martin McAllister, is the wife of David Smith, who was of course, appointed by Kenny MacAskill to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission – to examine complaints against other lawyers.

You can read more about Mr MacAskill’s appointments to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in the following report I wrote earlier in the year :

Call for MacAskill appointments 'sleaze investigation' as revelations show Legal Complaints Commission member was subject of Police inquiry

You don’t have much imagination in public appointments, Mr MacAskill, do you ? and why did you try to use the Office of Public Appointments in Scotland to justify your selections because the OCPAS assessor apparently didn’t have sight of any of the information or memos your own Cabinet colleague Mr Swinney has within his files …

Judicial Appointments Board


The Cabinet Secretary for Justice today announced the appointment of new legal members to the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Lady Smith has been appointed as the Senator member to replace Lord Wheatley whose term of office came to and end in June. Lady Smith's appointment is for three years from July 1, 2008.

Lady Smith is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. She was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1980, and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1993. She was appointed a judge of the Court of Session and High Court in 2001

Martin McAllister has been appointed as the solicitor member of the Board to replace Michael Scanlan whose term comes to an end later this year. Mr McAllister has been a solicitor since 1980. He was President of the Law Society of Scotland from 2001 to 2002 and is a partner of Taylor and Henderson, Solicitors in Saltcoats.

Mr McAllister has been appointed to the Board for a period of three years. He will take up his appointment in October.

These new appointees replace members who are retiring this year. The composition of the Board i.e. five legal and five lay persons remains unchanged.

Both appointments are part-time and carry a commitment of around 20 - 30 days a year. Mr McAllister will be entitled to a daily fee of £290. Lady Smith, being a serving judge, receives no fee for her attendance.

The appointments of the new solicitor member followed recommendations to Scottish Ministers by an independent selection panel chaired by the Rt Hon Lady Cosgrove, recently retired judge of the Court of Session.

The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was set up in 2002 with a remit to advise Ministers on the appointment of Judges, Sheriffs Principal and Sheriffs (both full-time and part-time). There are ten members, five legal members (a Judge, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff, an Advocate and a Solicitor) and five lay members including Sir Neil McIntosh as the lay Chairman.

The Judicial Appointments Board currently operates on an administrative basis and is therefore not subject to OCPAS regulations. However, the selection panel included an OCPAS assessor and followed good recruitment practice in making the recommendations for appointment.


Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff and you definitely have a point.
Mr McAskill appoints the husband to the complaints commission and the wife to the judicial appointments board and he thinks thats ok with everyone?
This McAllister seems to be involved in things too he shouldnt be.

Good reporting.You should be on tv or a newspaper too.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm not stupid and I can see Martin McAllister's name on that memo so he must be involved in it.

Your problem lies with MacAskill being the Justice Secretary.Do you understand what I am saying ?.He is obviously the Justice Secretary because the legal establishment want him in that position to deflect incidents such as this and appoint those who want to be appointed to law related positions.

Anonymous said...

A ridiculous comment from MacAskill in the circumstances.I think he should resign in the light of your revelations.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Nice catch but MacAskill and Swinney hate each other's guts as you probably know.Of course Swinney is the better man as you can here from the way he talks.Thinks before speaking unlike Mr MacAsskill

Anonymous said...

HAHA ! Mr MacAskill you sir are an idiot compared to John Swinney !

Anonymous said...

Mr MacAskill's "independent panel" is full of lawyers and lawyers friends.Total crap statement from him too.What a pity we don't have decent opposition just now because this lot are worse than the last

Anonymous said...

sorry forgot to add this to my comment
http://www.judicialappointmentsscotland.gov.uk/ which is the link to Mr MacAskills "independent panel" !!!

Anonymous said...

So, yet more conspicuous failures of due and proper process; no public representation, no word of complaint or concern from the former Legal Service Ombudsman Ms. Jane Irvine re the blatantly flawed appointments process to the SLLC, Mr. Swinney continues to impersonate a blind mute, and the SLCC is now what we were assured it would never be - a wholly owned subsiduary of the Law Society.

buckfast nightmare rules the law said...

nice comments

I can see why no one likes MacAskill.What a terrible attempt to deny the evidence !
Maybe he would like to re-write the memo and stick his own name on it or would that be too much of a dose of reality for the rest of us ?
He is a lawyer too you know !

Anonymous said...

Clearly there is a big gulf between MacAskill and Swinney on the interpretation of that memo but one does not need to look too far into their backgrounds to see why.One is a lawyer the other is not.In the circumstances I agree with a call to sack him.

Tobermory said...

So whats the excuse on this one?
"Oh Mr McAllister would never become involved in such a thing even though the memo has his name on it and asks for his signature ?"

If this were a Labour appointment the SNP would be off their heads shouting about it so why the deafening silence from oh just about everyone ?

Are these lawyers so powerful they scare the pants off anyone in politics ?

Anonymous said...

I say ! Where are all the comments defending dear Mr MacAskill over his choice of lawyers judges and husbands + wife teams for jobs ????

Is it too much to bear this time ??? Has dear Kenny ONCE AGAIN overstepped the mark ????

Anonymous said...

"The Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland was set up in 2002 with a remit to advise Ministers on the appointment of Judges, Sheriffs Principal and Sheriffs (both full-time and part-time). There are ten members, five legal members (a Judge, Sheriff Principal, Sheriff, an Advocate and a Solicitor) and five lay members including Sir Neil McIntosh as the lay Chairman."

and the independence of that Board is ........ ?

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 7.35pm

Just reporting the facts as they are which should be challenged, given all the shouting about other appointments over the years.

#Anonymous @ 8.09pm

I agree with your comment entirely ... that's why he is able to get away with this kind of behaviour.

# Anonymous @ 8.38pm

The time for that has long passed I feel !

# Anonymous @ 10.47pm

Yes, I agree and Scotland is suffering just now due to the political opposition's problems ...

# Anonymous @ 11.21pm

That about sums things up I think !

# "Buckfast nightmare rules the law" @ 11.25pm

I assume Mr MacAskill's name is on a few memos worth publishing too ...

# Anonymous @ 8.04am

I agree with your comment .. it may well boil down to lawyers closing ranks with colleagues ...

# Tobermory @ 8.51am

A valid point I think many of us must be thinking about ...

# Anonymous @ 9.50am

There were two threatening posts during the early hours ... such posts are not published. I accept activists will never examine the evidence impartially, and in any case, I am not against the SNP as the article shows quite clearly ... I fully support John Swinney, who as some of you point out, is by far the better man for the party, and the country.

# Anonymous @ 10.11am

There is of course no independence in the JAB.

Anonymous said...

idiots aside there is a valid story here in that the justice secretary has appointed a lawyer who is involved in something shady going on at the law society to a quango which appoints judges

that shows two things you should have highlighted more-

the recruitment process to this quango is flawed or corrupt and the quango itself is about as independent as bunch of lawyers

Anonymous said...

Nice touch when you mouse over John Swinney's photo !

Keep up the good work Peter.There will be a place for you in heaven,even if it is sooner rather than later if Kenny has his way!

Anonymous said...

I'm always a believer in there are 2 sides to every story but you have the memo
his name is on it
there is another memo
and John Swinney backs you up saying the claims are not settled so it all fits.

What doesn't fit is Kenny MacAskill being allowed to do what he is doing so it has to be that Salmond isn't bothered about it which spells bad news for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

You have to wonder how much dirt there is on people in high places.
Maybe the guy has been appointed to this position just because his name is on that memo or because of whatever he did in that memo.Have you considered that as a possibility ?
Maybe this is a reward for what happened to that claim which was never settled.

Anonymous said...

I was told to read this and now I know why.Douglas Mill has done exactly the same to my claim against Brodies who are definitely not the most honest solicitors around.It took me 2 years just to get a lawyer to take the case on and last November I was told a lawyer by the name of Douglas Mill had been making it difficult for my claim to get to court.
Is it possible to get any of my case in the papers like with yours?

Anonymous said...

I will be sure never to do any legal business in Scotland after reading some of your stuff.Actually I don't think I'd trust anyone to do any business now up there !

Anonymous said...

As I said last night,these people are in the positions they are because the legal establishment want them there,including MacAskill himself.You only need to go to the website of judicial appointments to see what a staged event the whole thing is.

Read the following please :http://www.judicialappointmentsscotland.gov.uk/judicial/servlet/controller?p_service=Content.show&p_applic=CCC&pContentID=514&pMenu0=101


Sir Neil McIntosh, Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland, welcomed two new appointments to the Board. Their appointments were announced on Monday 21st July, by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP.

Sir Neil said: "I am delighted to welcome Lady Smith and Martin McAllister to the Board. They are people eminent in their respective areas of life and I look forward to their valuable contribution to the work of the Board

Anonymous said...

Sack MacAskill settle the Mackenzies settle Cherbi for gods sake and make Swinney the Justice Minister.

Hope this makes everyone happy and we can all get on with our lives.Right thing to do from the start instead of all this bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Are you actually a lawyer ?
How do you know all these things and get this information ?

Anonymous said...

I dont think MacAskill cares one bit.
If you got a picture of him robbing a bank and asked him if he did it he would deny it too.
I think your expectation of honesty of MacAskill is well wide of the mark.Hes a politician and a lawyer.His professional loyalty will come first only after his loyalty to himself to see he keeps his 60k salary + expenses a year seat as an msp.
I don't think you should expect any great changes from him and what you are writing about seems to say he is going back not forward on things.
Maybe he should be replaced but there will be too many dirty tricks and dirty deals to keep him where he is just now.

Anonymous said...

I think MacAskill is trying to blame it on this "selection panel" but he must know about the memo with all the fuss its caused and I'm sure his underlings in Justice read your blog so they will have seen it too and then he has Swinney to tell him all about it too.
Sticks of cover up the whole thing and appointing the husband and wife to those positions as someone else said is a bit off too.

Anonymous said...

Really odd the whole thing.Did MacAskill not know you had the memo when he said that? because he just shot himself in the foot with that statement.

I dont trust him after reading this and I don't trust any of his appointments now either !

Anonymous said...

I bet there are a lot of memos like that and as bad as they may be the people writing them to each other are so f*king full of themselves they get off on it.You can see that from the way they are writing to each other.
Maybe there should have been a criminal investigation into those people but I'm sure they would have conned their way around that too.
After all what effort fooling the cops after fooling the rest of the country !

Anonymous said...

In any other country what you have written might have caused a fuss but its Scotland so these people don't mean shit to anyone inside or outside jockland even if they like to think they are the big cheese.

I advice you sir to disappear from that place and stop wasting your writing talents on idiots who will never change.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting blog Mr Cherbi.

I wont say what I do for a living but I do come into contact with lawyers more than I would like.

I can safely say I have never met such scum in my life.They make some of their clients look like angels in the lies they tell to get themselves and whoever they are paid to serve.

I think you will have many fans in your campaign.I for one think your writing is brilliant and exposing these people for what they really are is a treat worth seeing.

Best Wishes.

Anonymous said...

The SNP at war over lawyers
Haven't they got something better to do and why is MacAskill appointing all his pals to positions ?
Is anyone going to pull him up for that or are the bungs getting thrown around again ?

oh and what is OCPAS ?

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know if any of those lawyers or legal firms involved in those unsettled claims have appointees up before Mr McAllister when he takes up his position.
Maybe some have already been made a Sheriff ?

Michael Raeburn said...

Swinney must be very happy about what you wrote.I'd say MacAskill looks like a crook in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I have just had to listen to a 10 minute diatribe against you on the telephone.Are you working on something interesting by any chance ?

Anonymous said...

Obviously Mr McAllister cannot now serve on the JAB.If there is any integrity about the whole thing they will choose someone else or he will resign but if hes going to get money for it which it sounds like then he will cling to that like a vampire bat to a bag of blood.

Anonymous said...

Both politicians I wouldn't trust but Swinney comes out much more honest as you say.As for these people in the memo they should be in jail.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story as others have also said.

How long did John Swinney know about these memos ? He seems very certain in what he says in that video so he must have had access to these documents long before this hearing took place.

Why have none of those claims or complaints been settled from 2001 ?

Why would Kenny MacAskill continue to deny existence of these memos if this has been aired all over the place already ?

Hope you keep at the story Mr Cherbi. It sounds like there is something very rotten in our hallowed SNP government.

Anonymous said...

How silly of Kenny to deny what he has known all along.

He should resign.

member said...

Obviously MacAskill knows about this memo but he was probably hoping no one would say anything about it.

He us completely untrustworthy now and must be sacked because he wont have the decency to resign.

emmerson said...

This is what your great SNP Scottish Government is all about - getting its pals onto these quangos and taking away old folks heating rights
Want to read more go here http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/08/10/750-000-scots-pensioners-lose-the-right-to-free-heating-78057-20691358/

Anonymous said...

This was sent to me in an email.Very good work Mr Cherbi.

If the Scottish Government are misusing its powers and the Scottish Parliament is failing to keep a check it should be for Westminster to restrict what can be done north of the border on issues like these.

Anonymous said...

Considering what you have written this is a very serious matter.

Mr MacAskill seems to be denying a memo which is everywhere !

Mr McAllister's appointment must be investigated properly and why Mr Swinney's evidence was ignored by his own colleague Mr MacAskill.

Anonymous said...

I think they were hoping you would miss it Peter !

Anonymous said...

Why does Mr Macaskill not answer questions on which lawyers and legal firms he used to deal with ?

Something to hide and worth looking for ?

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your further comments and suggestions.

As a matter of fact, there are developments on this story which implicate the Justice Secretary himself in what is easily a misuse of office.

Those developments and much more will be reported later this week.

Anonymous said...

Anyone in their right mind would have settled these cases a long time ago so I'm guessing that your Justice Secretary doesn't want them settled and probably wants you wasted.

I suggest someone sacks him and all these freaky appointees to these obscure quangos asap.

Anonymous said...

Kenny MacAskill misusing his office again ??
I look forward to reading about that !

Anonymous said...

serious problems in Scotland with lawyers so i'm glad i don't need to deal with any of them

it might have been suggested before but how about rising up against twat lawyers who are getting away with all this crap ?

Anonymous said...

very sleazy as you write Peter and there should be an investigation but who can you get that is independent !

i wouldn't trust anyone in Scotland to look into this one now except you !

Anonymous said...

I am interested to note your exposure of this particular husband & wife appointment to these two boards. I believe that Mr. Smith was for many years a Partner of Shepherd & Wedderburn, who are instructed to act on behalf of various departments of the Scottish Executive from time to time. I believe he was even the Managing Partner for some time. That means that he would be intimately involved in dealing with that large firm's indemnity insurance arrangements (involving a close, or at least significant, working relationship with RSA, Law Society and Marsh).
Questions arising:- (i)As a Partner, would not his 'partner's income' have been affected by any increase in premiums which would decrease "profitability"?
(ii)Would he not therefore have an inherent interest in continuing to ensure that no "case precedents" are set in Scottish Law in respect of solicitors negligence?
(iii)Would his wife therefore not also have an interest (in terms of the family's financial interest) along the same lines?
N.B. Jane Ryder, in her book on the subject of the law of solicitors negligence in Scotland, asks the interesting question: does the absence of case precedents in respect of solicitors' negligence reflect the superior conduct of Scottish solicitors, or does it reflect the craftiness of their indemnity insurers?
To Ms. Ryder's question, in light of your excellent coverage on this site, might now be added: "or the co-opting of the entire system by the politburo of the KGB... erm, the Law Society of Scotland and its cronies.

May I wish you every sucess in achieving fundamental reform of the regulation and supervision of the legal profession in Scotland. The end of the LSOS in its entirety, and the creation of a new democratic society (one member one vote) as a stand alone representative entity (absent any Licensing or Complaints handling powers, thereby removing the ability to control & bully its membership) would be prefereable, and would allow the decent human beings among the legal fraternity to follow their own consience (within the actual rules) in dealing with their clients and to do that which is right and proper in the interests of justice.