Thursday, April 09, 2009

Legal Complaints Commission asks Parliament to approve £2.1 million budget as Law Society continues to whitewash crooked lawyers

SLCCScottish Legal Complaints Commission budget hits Holyrood. The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, charged with protecting consumers from the Law Society of Scotland's 'massed ranks of crooked lawyers', has finally put its 2009-2010 budget before the Scottish Parliament for approval, revealing a substantial drop in costs from the original budget for the Commission’s first year of operation was £3,493,823 in the Commission's first year of operation, to £2,112,149. for 2009/2010.

The drop in the SLCC's budget took place after a 'consultation' between the law complaints body and the legal profession, which has led to a significant fall in levies demanded of solicitors across Scotland to fund its operation, from a sum of the initially projected £409 payable by each solicitor to £275 for 2009/2010. Members of the Faculty of Advocates will be charged a levy of £223 each for the coming financial year, according to the budget proposals, which can be viewed (in pdf format) here : SLCC 2009/2010 budget

Kenny MacAskillJustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gifted lawyers a staggering £2.5 million of taxpayers money to start up the SLCC. It is worth noting that while the commission consulted elements of the legal profession who fund its operation on the budget and scale of fees, along with other operational matters, the SLCC did not consult the Scots public, who via Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, pumped in a staggering £2.5 million of taxpayers money into the 'do nothing' law complaints quango, which has so far done little to reverse public mistrust of Scotland's poor performing and widely viewed as crooked legal profession.

Jane IrvineSLCC Chair Jane Irvine. Jane Irvine, the Chair of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission commented on the budget : “The Board of the SLCC carefully considered the representations made by the professional organisations and a number of amendments have been incorporated into the Commission’s final budget.”

“We are fully aware of the repercussions of the economic downturn and the impact it has had upon the legal profession. Consequently, the cost of SLCC recruitment has been reduced from £90,000 to £60,000 which now takes into account the probability of an increased number of high-calibre candidates being available.”

Eileen MastermanSLCC CEO & former Law Society Committee member Eileen Masterman gets £1,350 per week. High calibre candidates for the SLCC ... where on earth shall such people be found ? from the legal profession perhaps ? and with whopping salaries such as the SLCC’s Chief Executive Eileen Masterman at £1,350 per week and others at the commission on £350 a day, where is all the money going when the commission is sending most complaints it has currently received back to the Law Society for more closed shop whitewashing of complaints against crooked lawyers.

What about the repercussions of the economic downturn on clients, who are now experiencing some of the worst levels of legal fees fraud ever seen where solicitors are sending out extortionate fee notes to clients, of double or triple the amount actually owed, and even demanding payment for non existent work, which so far the SLCC refuse to investigate on the grounds such complaints relate to solicitors work which took place prior to the commission's start of business on 1st October 2008

You can read more about how solicitors across Scotland are committing fraud against clients in demanding false fees here : Lawyers stealing from clients to earn 'double fees' while Law Society looks the other way in vast network of legal aid fraud & embezzlement

Jane Irvine further commented : “The Special Projects and Research budget has also been reduced from £50,000 to £30,000 which will still enable the Commission to take on two major projects during 2009/2010.”

So .. what projects will be axed just because the Law Society populated commission feels its better to subsidise the legal profession than protect consumer rights ? More delays to the Guarantee Fund & Master Policy monitoring ? as I have reported earlier here : Law Society's 'Guarantee Fund' for clients of crooked lawyers revealed as multi million pound masterpiece of claims dodging corruption

Scottish Legal Complaints CommissionSo far unaccountable SLCC members 'on the razzle' with expenses. Finally the question of members expenses is explained by Jane Irvine : “Our recent experience has shown that members’ monthly expenses are well below the draft budget figures and to reflect this, expenses have been reduced from £34,000 to £15,000 and the 2008/2009 carry over figure has been amended to £1.4million from £1.168 million which more accurately reflects what the end surplus is likely to be.”

And yet with the millions of pounds of expenses being handed out the first decision the SLCC took was not to investigate any complaint against a lawyer prior to 1st October 2008, after 10 months of meetings at £350 a day each !

However, these same board members of the SLCC threatened to resign if they didn't receive increased perks & insurance cover, which I reported on here : Legal Complaints Commission in crisis amid funds shortage & resignation threats over lack of insurance protection

and then went on to bring the Commission into disrepute, which I reported, along with other media outlets here : MacAskill must clean up law complaints body as members 'booze culture conduct' reflects lack of discipline & will to investigate crooked lawyers

and all the while, the SLCC's board members hadn't even bothered to advance their own code of conduct, which still awaits Justice Secretary MacAskill's signature, over one year on after millions of pounds of taxpayers money was pumped into the commission, as I reported here : MacAskill 'negligent' as revelations show £4.5m Legal Complaints Commission operating with no standards oversight one year on

Law SocietyLaw Society of Scotland still not happy with crooked lawyers being charged for complaints. The Law Society of Scotland, ever the protector of dodgy lawyers, rather than the fee paying public’s interests, took a swipe at the SLCC budget, attacking the quango’s huge unnecessary surpluses and failure to reduce the levies required to fund its operations, such as they are …

Lorna Jack, Chief Executive of the Law Society claimed : “The Society has structured its budget for this year to reflect the impact the recession is having on its members. We believe the SLCC should have done likewise and budgeted in order to reduce levy rates and help ease the financial burden on solicitors in the current climate.”

She went on “However we think SLCC’s level of reserves are unnecessarily high given the nature of the organisation, and proposals for salary increases are inappropriate at a time when many organisations, including the Society, have implemented a salary freeze for 2009/10.”

“The Society also expressed concern over the doubling of the case levies which can be imposed on solicitors. We are fully aware of the ‘polluter pays’ principle which underpins these charges but, as no cases have progressed through the full process yet, there is no evidence to justify such a big increase.”

So, business as usual – crooked lawyers get off the hook because the new ‘independent’ SLCC remits most investigations back to the Law Society, who see to it complaints are whitewashed, and who are either bullying the new commission or pulling its strings to avoid giving Scots consumers real protection against Scotland’s poor quality and highly corrupt legal services market, which is so poor, and so corrupt, it puts us on a par with banana republics, and all the while the Justice Secretary Mr MacAskill and the rest of the Scottish Government sit on the sidelines doing nothing …

Is this justice for all Scots who use & require honest, accountable, high quality & trustworthy, legal services ? I think not …

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

So the slcc have escaped the recession with £1,350 a week !

Any jobs going ?
There's about 3.2million of us who could do with some of that !

Anonymous said...

If the Law Society are still investigating complaints and the slcc is investigating complaints there must be a hell of a lot of money being spent to keep bent lawyers away from the courts.

I see this slcc is full of lawyers and cops - hardly an advertisement for independent regulation!

Anonymous said...

Handing back the £2.5 million to the taxpayer should have been the priority - not cutting charges to lawyers who caused this whole mess in the first place.

skewered said...

£3.5m + £2.1m = £6.6million

What a rip off just to save crooked lawyers !

Anonymous said...

Right again Mr Cherbi.

SLCC did not consult the Scots public, who via Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, pumped in a staggering £2.5 million of taxpayers money into the 'do nothing' law complaints quango, which has so far done little to reverse public mistrust of Scotland's poor performing and widely viewed as crooked legal profession.

I am not surprised at this, but your work is brilliant Mr Cherbi, like I said in an earlier post, lawyers have as much protection as Hitler, clearly MacAskill wants to keep things that way.

Anonymous said...

Twice the regulation and not a shred of honesty from a bunch of apologists for crooked lawyers

SNP dirty trick heaven said...

I note some more SNP dirty trick tactics here because Holyrood is in recess until 19 April according to their website
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/index.htm

Did MacAskill tell them to get it in during the quiet time ?

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 3.11pm

Apply to Jane Irvine .. she may have some posts available !

# Anonymous @ 3.56pm

I agree .. and yes, while the Law Society are complaining about the levy for the SLCC .. they make no mention of the fact they are also spending millions on investigating complaints at the same time.

# Anonymous @ 4.03pm

Exactly.

# Skewered @ 4.18pm

Yes .. it seems corruption is easier to conceal with lots of money than exposing the truth and giving people a measure of justice, which usually takes very little.

# Anonymous @ 4.37pm

I agree with you completely ... the tide must be turned against corrupt self regulation of the legal profession ... and those who preserve it's injustice against the public.

# SNP dirty trick heaven @ 4.56pm

A good point and yes, I think you are probably correct ...

Anonymous said...

So the lawyers deliberately submit their budget while the Parliament is closed.How convenient for them and anyone else who wants no debate on this issue.

Very corrupt as you say Mr Cherbi and I am really beginning to develop quite a dislike for lawyers.

Anonymous said...

"Is this justice for all Scots who use & require honest, accountable, high quality & trustworthy, legal services ? I think not"

Quite right Peter and there will be no justice under the SNP unless you give them megabucks in party donations but you know that anyway right ?

The SNP are not about justice or social values.They are a party of business and its high bloody time people realised that.Maybe a good dose of recession and personal bankruptcy will wake a few jocks up to reality!

Anonymous said...

Have to wonder what Masterman actually does for £1,350 a week if this lot are just passing the cases back to the Law Society!

Anonymous said...

Clearly the refusal by the SLCC to investigate complaints from before October 2008, its submissive concern for the best economic interests of the legal profession, and its own lavish renumeration have already discredited what is effectively a Law Society 'clone.

Hardly surprising given that staff from the 'mother ship' were transferred to the SLCC en masse.

All good reasons not to vote SNP.

Anonymous said...

2.1 million to whitewash complaints during a financial crisis and from what you say they are doing bugger all

disgusting

Anonymous said...

Mr Cherbi,
I hope you do not mind me changing the subject but the subject I wish to write about is caring for the elderly.
I watched Panorama this evening. My mother had carers from Domiciliary Care. The carers did not have time to look after my mother, their phones would ring constantly. Everything the programme highlighted happened to my mother. I got rid of them. One carer told me this company had friends within South Lanarkshire Council. I do not know if this is true but the Council refused to be interviewed by the Panorama reporter. The management of this company, were as compassionate as the lawyers we are fighting. Hopefully the press will keep an eye on the industry by some more undercover journalism?

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 9.28pm

Spot on .. the SLCC seem to like keeping things in the 'Law Society' family ..

# Anonymous @ 10.42pm

Thanks for your comment, and certainly if you have any information you want me to pass to colleagues in the newspapers please send it on and I will do my best to ensure any issues regarding care for the elderly you raise are properly aired as they should be.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Mr Cherbi,

Churchills statement about the Battle of Britain can be applied to the present system regarding clients and lawyers thus:

"Never in the field of human relations has so much been stolen from so many by so few".

Anonymous said...

Peter Cherbi said...
# Anonymous @ 9.28pm

Spot on .. the SLCC seem to like keeping things in the 'Law Society' family ..

# Anonymous @ 10.42pm

Thanks for your comment, and certainly if you have any information you want me to pass to colleagues in the newspapers please send it on and I will do my best to ensure any issues regarding care for the elderly you raise are properly aired as they should be.

Thanks Mr Cherbi, I do not have any written evidence but it would be interesting if the press could commission a survey of care for the elderly. I am sure their findings would confirm the findings of Panorama. Totally shocking. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

I was told to read your blog last night and all I can say is I am shocked at how crooked lawyers are in Scotland.

I will be sure never to use one if I can help it.All you people north of the border have my sympathies for having to make do with criminals masquerading as your dishonourable legal representatives.

Anonymous said...

£2.1 million seems a lot of money to give this lot.
I would think there are better things to spend it on in these troubled times.

As for a £1,350 a week salary,well if I wrote what I thought of the recipient you probably wouldnt publish the comment.

Hats off to you Peter Cherbi for keeping us all informed of these crooks!

Anonymous said...

I have already made a complaint to the slcc and just as you have written they handed it over to the Law Society and said to me they wouldn't reply to me again.

Law Society MkII

Anonymous said...

Good evening everyone,

I read Mr Cherbi's diary every day. Please tell your friends, print and pass pages from his diary to everyone you know. Ask them to do the same. The word will spread, warning potential clients what they are up against.

This is a battle the SCOTTISH PEOPLE WILL NOT LOSE, the old chinese proverbs

"much rain wears the marble" and

"the longest journey begins with a single step"

Victory to Mr Cherbi the Scottish People and Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers.

Human beings working in concert have cracked tough problems before, Tell Everyone, the vipers in their law firms are waiting to strike again on any unsuspecting victim. Mr Cherbi and Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers have done the difficult bit, we must all help them, spread the work, show these pages, protect your friends.

Anonymous said...

Replying to post at 1:40PM

I am very pleased you were asked to read Mr Cherbi's diary, thank you please tell everyone you know.
I can assure you the medical profession are no better than crooked lawyers, crooks all of them.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think the snp are deliberately running the slcc into the ground so the law society can take full control of complaints just as they always did

There wont be any justice from the snp unless big fat brown envelopes are involved because snp spelling of justice is "money & bribes"

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are the friends and tools of bankers

They should face the same public wrath for their evil

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment that lawyers and bankers deserve public anger and protest against what they have done to people.They are both as bad as each other and their activities are far worse than some criminals already in jail

Anonymous said...

The SNP announced they would ask bent lawyers to fleece dead clients estates for donations !
http://www.sundayherald.com/news/heraldnews/display.var.2501467.0.snp_under_fire_over_macabre_plan_for_fundraising_funerals.php

Anonymous said...

Very Good MacAskill.

But lawyers are still dealing with complaints from the public about lawyers.
This can only result in injustice for victims of lawyers.
I used to wonder if you were all members of a secret society, then I found out it was called the Law Society for Scotland. Your credibilities are being erroded daily, you power is diminishing, and you will fail in your attempts to maintain the status quo. You lawyers are so mentally deviant that many of you believe you are doing nothing wrong. We want a complaints handling system established with no lawyers involved. Kick lawyers out of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission now.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are Nazi's.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis of this rabble - they don't deserve a penny from us

Anonymous said...

Mr Cherbi, this is from one of your earlier articles, you say about your work;

"I do this not only for myself, I do it for everyone who has come to me over the years, with their problems of how they have been ripped off by crooked lawyers, and other crooked professionals, had their lives ruined, been thrown out of their homes, had their funds embezzled and stolen from them, had no compensation for what happend, have lost their loved ones over the antics of crooked lawyers, and have been messed around by the likes of Douglas Mill and the Law Society .. for years.
What, therefore, is the media's motive for supporting such people who do these things ? must be money ... it certainly can't be pursuit of the truth, can it" ?

How right you are Mr Cherbi, Money is the controlling factor here, money for

Protecting lawyers and their masters, who lie, cheat, defraud, cover up occupational injury, medical negligence, stealing clients money, property etc, this list is not exhaustive.
The legal establishment at the The Law Society would let their clients die from hunger before they would compensate them. The person who has never dealt with this filthy profession is very fortunate indeed. We are dealing with modern Nazis, I know people who have been left with nothing, to the extent their fridge is empty because of crooked lawyers, they kept their homes as they were council homes. Douglas Mill should try surviving on unemployment benefits. No doubt this will not cut any ice with him, his type tell you you will find compassion in the dictionary. He has compassion in abundance for lawyers.

Anonymous said...

The Law Society will continue whitewashing claims against crooked lawyers. It is fortunate they do not have the Einsatzgruppen (execution squads) for dealing with their lawyers clients.
If they could get away with it the Law Society would shoot anyone who was a threat to a lawyers reputation, look at their accountant who got on the wrong side of a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Good post Peter and don't forget solicitors are also having to pay for the Law Society's 'whitewashes' too.

We should be rid of them both but what do you suggest as a replacement ?

Anonymous said...

Fine blog.

It strikes me a lot of people will have probably lost millions to these bent lawyers but we never hear much of it because of their hold over the newspapers.

I am beginning to think along the lines of protest and exposure,to let everyone know where these thieves live work and who their victims really are along with all the bad that has been done to them.

We are getting to this stage now with bankers and lenders so why not with lawyers.Expose their lives and let everyone know what they are up to.C'mon people motivate yourselves and DO SOMETHING more than just writing about it!

Alan Reading said...

I have learned a lot of good things from reading your site Mr Cherbi.I will endeavour to remain as far as possible from any lawyer from Scotland as long as I live.

I do hope you and those you help obtain justice against these impersonators of law one day.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Mr Cherbi,

Under the CDM (Construction Design and Management Regulations) all new buildings must have a Health & Safety File. This file contains drawings, specifications, wiring diagrams etc, showing construction methods used, so that workers who maintain the building know it's past history.

Back to crooked lawyers. We need a Clients Health & Safety File, but this means that lawyers must be monitored by an independent body. If they are involved in any form of corruption, the details are entered into the file for future clients to check before that lawyer does any work for the client.
In the construction industry this is mandatory because of the risks to people's health & safety. There are clearly great risks associated with employing the services of a lawyer.
You and Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers know this will be difficult to achieve. What we need is a nationwide campaign, so that members of the public can report crooked lawyers, and they can contact other clients who have used the same lawyer, or law firm.
By cross checking case documents for example in litigation we can establish if a pattern emerges with clients who have used the same lawyer. Finally as you know this will never be possible if lawyers are involved in the complaints handling body. A new body should be set up, without lawyers involved in the complaints handling process. That would be a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Nothing I read here surprises me. MSP's fiddling their expenses, lawyers protected by politicians, the latter who seem to have their fingers in the fire and never get burned. Cash for honours, the Home Secretary expenses fiddle, all of these people get caught by the media, somethimes there is an investigation which exonerates everyone involved. The public expect these people to clamp down on crooked lawyers. Blairs government covered up the cash for honours, (he is a lawyer) and number 10 witheld e mails the police wanted. The system is rotten with corruption, politicians screwing the taxpayer because the expenses rules allow them to with impunity.
These people have the same mindset as Douglas Mill, little wonder their colleagues in Scotland like MacAskill, look after members of their own profession.

Anonymous said...

This must be the most miserable undeserving bunch of people ever to be involved with complaints against solicitors.

I hope Holyrood is paying attention to their conduct although there are probably too many msps funded by the Law Society to do anything about it,just like what happened with the banks.

Anonymous said...

There was a tame version of this story in yesterday's Scotsman.So tame it wouldn't have upset any lawyers!

Anonymous said...

I hope you are raising this in Parliament - the budget should be opposed until the SLCC explain themselves and what they have actually done for people

Anonymous said...

Oh I think the Law Society are getting off lightly with £275 a year per solicitor in private practice.After all,the SLCC is little more than a front company for the Law Society so pay no attention to Lorna Jack's meek protest.We don't.

Anonymous said...

During the 2nd World War Hitler sent his armies through the Ardennes, (The Battle of The Bulge). Some English speaking German infantry wore American uniforms, and had captured American equipment. When these units infiltrated genuine American units, the German High Command had feedback from their soldiers dressed as Americans.

That is why there are Lawyers in the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, to provide feedback to the Law Society, and to influence the commission against the General Public. History dictates that to change any system enemy spies are detrimental to change. That is why all lawyers and their boffins cannot be included in a complaints handling organisation.
Lawyers want to keep self regulation. Victims of crooked lawyers want lawyers removed from the complaints handling organisations. If Douglas Mill had said, I always stop complaints against lawyers to protect the lawyers career and the Master Fund he would have been honest. But Mr Mill could well have been one of those German soldiers, dressed as an American. Yes this is a war, and the enemy must be kicked out of the complaints handling process. This is the only way forward to help eliminate the influence of the Law Society. The legal profession are mostly above the law, and this will remain as long as the present system remains.

Anonymous said...

Get the lawyers out of the SLCC, they are enemy aliens there to look after their masters at the Law Society.