Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission that wont investigate complaints posts rules of no help to many victims of crooked lawyers

The newly created Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, which was intended as a bold attempt to clean up Scotland's notoriously corrupt legal profession has just posted its rules on what types of complaints against 'crooked lawyers' it can and cannot investigate.

The final set of rules for the SLCC, which you can view here : SLCC Rules have been widely condemned by campaigners and consumers as having too many loopholes and let outs for the Law Society to take over investigations and shut them down as 'conduct issues' which the new Commission is not entitled to investigate.

However as a shock to many clients of solicitors who have complained against poor work or corrupt practice by their solicitors, anyone who instructs a solicitor to act before 1st October 2008. are to be excluded from any assistance from the new Commission, which is refusing to investigate any complaints against crooked lawyers before it begins work next week.

This refusal to look at complaints of the past conveniently excludes a huge amount of serious client complaints which the Law Society of Scotland has deliberately bogged down in paperwork lasting years in some cases, in the legal profession's long running battle against consumers to protect solicitors against complaints and financial claims at all costs.

From the Scottish Legal Service Ombudsman's website :

"It is proposed that the Commission will investigate complaints about service if you instructed the legal practitioner to do the work you wish to complain about after 1st October 2008. If the work you wish to complain about started prior to 1st October 2008 then the Commission will keep a record of it, but will pass the complaint to either the Law Society of Scotland or the Faculty of Advocates to investigate. If you are unhappy with the way those bodies handle your complaint the Commission may consider complaints about their handling."

A client involved in a current complaint being investigated by the Law Society of Scotland described the new Commission's complaints process as a 'fit up' and one which people "shouldn't be trapped into, as the entire process is controlled by lawyers and makes sure you get nowhere even if they steal every single penny you have".

He went onto say "The Law Society have deliberately drowned me in paperwork, delays, excuses and have done everything to stop me from getting some justice after my lawyer ruined me".

I have been to 28 different firms of solicitors to try and get a lawyer to represent me in court and every one of them have refused to act for me, yet 2 of those firms took the case on and had to drop it after being ordered to do so by the Law Society”

Having the same people on this new complaints body who have been part of the operation to kill my complaint, stop me from getting access to justice and basically steal my life away from me is not the way to improve complaints against lawyers”

The client's complaint apparently involves allegations of criminality and embezzlement which so far have not been passed over to the appropriate authorities by the Law Society of Scotland, which cannot investigate criminal matters .. but as many clients know .. the Law Society can certainly cover up even criminal issues to protect crooked lawyers.

Another client who also did not wish to be named, for fear of retaliation from the Law Society said "This new Commission is full of ex Law Society staff and members.Its just a new name for the Law Society who will see to it through their own people that complaints against crooked lawyers get nowhere as usual"

You can read more on my previous reports into the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission here : Scottish Legal Complaints Commission previous reports

… and if you are interested in reading a little more about some of the personalities on the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission and what they got up to before their new Ministerial appointment to the SLCC, you should go directly to the following article :

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

Kenny MacAskill always did say he would protect lawyers at any cost against anyone who wasn’t a lawyer …

As a reminder to everyone who the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission actually are, here is a ‘summary’ from the Commission’s website : Who we are

Non-lawyer members

Jane Irvine (Chairing Member)

Jane Irvine has been the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman since April 2006. She is a specialist in consumer complaints having held a number of positions as a mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator of consumer complaints. Between 2001-05 she was HM Lay Inspector of Constabulary, and considered the handling of complaints against the police in Scotland. She later prepared a report on modernising police complaint and conduct systems for the Justice Minister. She also sat on a range of disciplinary tribunals and currently sits on the Discipline Board of the Institute of Actuaries.

“This new Scottish Commission is an important body. It will provide a modern system for resolving complaints about legal services that both the profession and the public can have confidence in. I am delighted to have been appointed with such a strong group of commissioners who bring with them a diverse and exceptional range of skills and experience.”

Douglas Watson

Douglas Watson was a police officer for 30 years and is currently an adult protection development officer for Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders Executive Group. Mr Watson has previously been a chairing member of the Child Protection Committee, Scottish Borders Council and Edinburgh Drug and Alcohol Action Team. He was a lay Committee member for the Law Society of Scotland and is a Sessional Inspector with the Social Work Inspection Agency.

Linda Pollock

Linda Pollock has had a broad based career in the NHS with clinical, teaching, research and management experience. She was an Executive Nursing Director until 2006, and interim Board Nurse Director (2002-2003). Her last role, before leaving the NHS, was a full time secondment as the Chief Nursing Officer's Advisor for Nurse Prescribing. Dr Pollock was a part time nurse member of the Mental Welfare Commission (1997-2005) and is currently a registrant member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Appointments Board

George L Irving CBE

George Irving was Director of Social Work North Ayrshire Council and during the period 1999-2000 he served as President of the Association of Directors of Social Work (Scotland). From 2001-2006 he was Chair of NHS Ayrshire and Arran. He led the National Support Team, Management of Offenders 2005-2007 and is currently a Visiting Professor to Glasgow Caledonian University School of Health and Social Care.

Ian Gordon OBE, QPM, LL.B (Hons)

Ian Gordon is a retired Deputy Chief Constable of Tayside Police. He is currently an associate professor in policing for Charles Sturt University (Australia). He was Chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) Professional Standards Business Area and Vice-Chair of ACPOS General Policing Business Area.

Lawyer members

Alan Paterson

Alan Paterson is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Professional Legal Studies at Strathclyde University, an independent "Think Tank" on the Scottish Legal System. He has researched in, and published on, the regulation of lawyers and the provision of public legal services for over twenty years. Although he is qualified as a solicitor in Scotland, Professor Paterson has never practised. He served as a co-opted member of the Council of the Law Society between 2001-2008. He is currently a research adviser to the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and a member of the Judicial Appointments Board.

David Smith

David Smith is a retired solicitor. He was a commercial property partner with Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP for 34 years, including 6 years as Chairman. He has extensive experience of client relations, professional negligence and risk management.

Margaret Scanlan

Margaret Scanlan is an accredited specialist in family law at Russells Gibson McCaffrey. She has also tutored in family law at Glasgow Caledonian University. Mrs Scanlan was a member and latterly Deputy Chair of the Scottish Legal Aid Board between 1997-2007. She has also been Director of the Legal Defence Union between 1998-2002. Mrs Scanlan was a founder member of both Strathkelvin Women’s Aid and the Family Law Association. She held the post of Chair of the latter between 1992-93.

David Chaplin

David Chaplin was the senior partner in Anderson Fyfe for 17 years until his retiral in 2008. He is a specialist in insolvency law. He was the Client Relations partner for ten years and he advised in pre litigation resolution of commercial disputes for clients. He was a member of the Education Committee of the Royal Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow during 2004-05


Anonymous said...

What a bunch,no doubt carefully selected by Messrs MacAskill and co to make sure no one can make a complaint against a bent lawyer

Anonymous said...

“Having the same people on this new complaints body who have been part of the operation to kill my complaint, stop me from getting access to justice and basically steal my life away from me is not the way to improve complaints against lawyers”

How true.I hope someone is able to do something for that person.I also hope the lawyers involved go to hell along with the scum sucking filth who help them get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Keeping it all in the family - nuff said!

Oh wait a minute I thought the lovely perfect SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY didn't allow these kinds of things to happen?

Anonymous said...

Hitler couldn't have selected a better jury for the Nazis

Anonymous said...

I wonder how these ex cops got onto this committee.Did they crawl up to the Law Society or did it crawl up to them?
You know there is quite a lot of crossover between the Police and lawyers when a lawyer finds him/herself the subject of a complaint.Usually that lawyer ends up sicking the cops onto whoever made the complaint and usually the cops do as they are told because there are a few favours in it.
You might try investigating that subject Mr Cherbi and you will find out some real horror stories

Anonymous said...

Not worth the hassle of dealing with this bunch of goons.Please people use your hands when dealing with crooked lawyers!

Anonymous said...

I don't think ex-Police Officers should have anything to do with complaints about lawyers.They are too close to the problem and the odds are they probably have dealt with many lawyers while in their Police job.

Nice to know there are people left who will expose this kind of corruption though so keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

The same Douglas Watson ?

Probe as top police officers clash over sex bias

Sep 21 2008 By Norman Silvester

AN anti-terror police chief is being probed over sex discrimination claims by a high-flying female officer.

Chief Inspector Allison Strachan complained about her boss and former flatmate Superintendent Keith Chamberlain.

Both were based at Corstorphine police station in Edinburgh's west end, though it is believed Chamberlain has been moved to another post.

Strachan is said to be claiming she has been treated less favourably than male officers.

Six years ago she sparked a scandal by leaving her police constable partner for then boss Douglas Watson, a chief superintendent who in turn left his wife.

At the time Watson was leading a £1million review of the force and Strachan was part of his 22-strong team. She set up home with him in Peebles and they adopted twins.

Chamberlain - who led a secret CID team investigating Algerian terror cells in Edinburgh five years ago - has also had a colourful private life.

He left his wife and children for probationer officer Wendy Paterson.

When approached for comment, Strachan said: "I cannot talk about this."

Lothian and Borders Police said: "We can confirm an investigation is under way. It would be inappropriate to comment further."

Anonymous said...

So as the story goes there will be no independence with this look looking after crooked lawyers which is just what the lawyers want.

Anonymous said...

Wow.Scotland has a problem with lawyers thats for sure.
You could deal with it the same way they deal with the seal population?

Anonymous said...

Just confirms - as if any further evidence was required - that those writing the rules are hand in glove with those who allegedly are bound by them.

Quite disgraceful.

Inverted said...

I really don't see why lawyers should be allowed to investigate themselves anyway

How about criminalising complaints against the legal profession and throwing them in with the rapists scum and other perverts they defend and see how many of them survive it

Oh and MacAskill should follow them too after saying what he says on that video.

Anonymous said...

I have been struggling for 2 years with the Law Society over my complaint against Shepherd & Wedderburn who are mentioned in your story.Please if you can alert people not to go anywhere near that firm.They are very dangerous to clients and the Law Society is covering up their investigation and I cannot get copies of any papers from my case now.

true scot said...

and where are the beloved snp cybernazis to defend their dodgy lawyer loving lawyer ??? whats up? is it just too much to stomach seeing kenny take it up the ass to protect his buddies in the bar?

Anonymous said...

Having read your blog tonight Mr Cherbi I will try to avoid using any solicitor in Scotland from now on.

Perhaps you should advise your readers of any decent law firms you are aware of, if such a thing actually exists.

Good luck with your campaigning.

Anonymous said...

Probably the Law Society brings the Police in so they can use them against complainers.
How about fitting people up just because they complain against a lawyer? Dead easy to do because there are as many bent cops out there willing to do the work for the bent lawyers too!

Anonymous said...

What a joke and no wonder people are pissed off with Mcaskill.

Anonymous said...

The things people will do for money huh and all these people have been put on this slcc to keep the public down as usual.
It all boils down to money and stopping anyone other than the lawyers getting it.Good for those who challenge such corruption.Down with those who dont.

Anonymous said...

Doesnt sound like I should be paying an extra £300 a year to keep this lot in jobs.

How about a judicial review of this farce Mr Cherbi,would you support it given your own criticisms of the commission's disfunctionality ?

Anonymous said...

Pity the newspapers are keeping quiet about all this.Have they been got at or something?

Anonymous said...

oh I think the 'cybernazis' will keep away from MrC.His intelligence service is second to none and if they know what's good for their party's dirty secrets they will keep to playing in the sandpit with the Liebour louts :D

Anonymous said...

Some back pocket arm twisting being done by the Law Society with the Government over Home report packs -

Lawyers wont be able to fleece their house selling clients so much?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that MacAskill feels he can say that and get away with it.The man is a total waste of space along with anyone who supports protecting lawyers just so they can have their monopoly on legal business.

Anonymous said...

Good story Peter.I think the time has come to close the book on the way the Law Society has done things and take your ideas forward for the good of all concerned.

Good luck for the future and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

What point is a complaints commission that wont investigate complaints?

Anonymous said...

Your justice secretary is clearly not a trustworthy man and that must go for the rest of the Government in Scotland.

Horrible thought isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I have a complaint with the Law Society which has lasted THREE YEARS and we are still no further forward with MR PHILIP YELLAND who keeps delaying the whole thing.I don't think this bunch of people will do any better and its time as you say to do something different against crooked lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Am I to understand we have to make all complaints against our lawyers to this SLCC first then they decide what to do with the complaint?

"Justice, Integrity, Compassion, Wisdom"... said...

"Justice, Integrity, Compassion, Wisdom"...

These, of course, are the four words inscribed on the Mace at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.

Trouble is, I certainly don't see Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond; the INjustice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill; or this SNP "Government" living up to any of these fine words - nor ANY Scottish politico for that matter.

I mean, what have they done to tackle your injustice? Have they really helped you and taken on the authorities on your behalf? Have they really ever challenged the local authority, local constabulary, legal profession, Law Society, judiciary or any of Scotland's institutions for you? I mean really and properly challenged any of these institutions? I doubt that very much.

The reason, quite simply, is that Scotland's politicos are too in bed with Scotland's legal establishment and institutions to do anything for you. The whole political and legal system is so incestuous, rotten and corrupt it's akin to any Banana Republic on the planet.

Good luck to everyone out there seeking the truth and justice. But you will NEVER find it amongst those 129 charlatans at Holyrood, and that's a fact. That reminds me: What do you call 129 MSPs at the bottom of the North Sea? A good start!

On a serious note, my best wishes and good luck to all of you out there seeking the truth and justice for yourself or your loved ones.

Believe me, in Scotland, you need it ... cause the "justice system" is one of the most corrupt on the planet ... especially when Scotland's politicos are so in bed with those legal masters.

It's as rotten, corrupt and incestuous as you will find anywhere in the world.

True or false? I think we all know the answer to that... !

I wish you all well in your pursuit of justice in Scotland.

Justice, Integrity...

Anonymous said...

Macaskill another scandle regarding cheif inspector strachan sleeze cop what are you going to do about her now she has dumped your bum boy dougie watson no more cossy meals together and doing big favors now i will watch this space,