Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Penman Levy' leads to civil war within Scotland's legal profession as solicitors battle Law Society on fat cat salaries & wasted millions

Law SocietyLaw Society of Scotland 'takes huge salaries & expenses perks from lawyers subscriptions to fund lavish lifestyles of top executives'. THE EXPENSE of the Law Society of Scotland's policy of shielding the likes of Borders solicitor Andrew Penman of Stormonth Darling solicitors, Kelso, from prosecutions before Discipline Tribunals and almost certain separate investigations into the Law Society’s own report that Penman and his legal firm deceived both the Royal Bank of Scotland & HM Inland Revenue, has led to a bitter civil war brewing among members of Scotland's legal profession, concerned their spiralling obligatory annual subscriptions, resulting from costly cover ups of scandal upon scandal involving crooked lawyers stealing from clients, are being wasted by Law Society chiefs, who some solicitors now claim are wasting millions on themselves with little return to the profession.

Scotsman coverage of some of the stories relating to Andrew PenmanThe Law Society’s shielding of Andrew Penman from prosecution before the SSDT led to new & costly legislation on regulation, coupled with lost business. One solicitor, incensed at the way the Law Society's Client Relations team handles complaints against colleagues, spoke on condition of anonymity this morning, saying :"The way the Law Society handled the scandal surrounding Andrew Penman in the 1990s, and derailed his prosecution before the SSDT has cost us all dearly."

He went on :“Saving Private Penman has led to a slew of media coverage of cases involving rogue solicitors and huge corruption scandals within the profession which has tarnished us all for life, ultimately costing all members our reputations and incalculable lost business while the staff within the Society award themselves promotions and huge salaries out of our contributions. They have obviously caused the profession much more harm than good and now be forced out."

Eileen Masterman & Philip YellandSLCC Chief Executive Eileen Masterman & Law Society Chief Executive Philip Yelland on £80k+ p.a. but both do same job. The dual cost to Scotland's 10,000 solicitors of paying for expensive self regulation carried out by the Law Society of Scotland and 'quasi-independent' regulation handled by the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, highlights the huge financial burdens on solicitors, which are in turn being passed down to clients through hugely increased and in some cases, artificially inflated legal fee demands.

Jane IrvineSLCC Chief Jane Irvine announced reduced complaints levy for solicitors this year but no repayment of £2 million of taxpayers money for quango's start up costs. While the Law Society of Scotland are reluctant to reduce the cost of solicitors contributions, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission did make some reductions to the complaints levy, dubbed the Penman Levy by many in the legal profession, which solicitors must also pay annually, initially at a cost of £400 a year each, to fund the new commission.

However, the new 'independent' law complaints body is itself dogged by now well proven allegations of the same cronyism & lack of impartiality in its operation & policies which the Law Society of Scotland has made itself famous for over the decades, leading to the current state of ruin of Scotland's legal services market.

I have written some previous articles on the costs of the SLCC and where members minds seem to lie (on perks, rather than the work) here : Complaints Commission 'unfit for purpose' as secret meetings with insurers & pensions take focus over consumer protection against crooked lawyers

A solicitor from a leading Glasgow law firm condemned the repetition of costs of regulation at the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

He said "How two people, Yelland & Masterman can do ostensibly the same job, and get paid over £1300 a week out of our pocket, should not be allowed to continue.”

“If that's not bad enough, the SLCC’s Chair and Chief Executive are on more than £300 a day and board members claim over £350 a day in expenses. What kind of a regime is that when we also have to pay even more to fund the same people doing the same work at the Law Society."

He went on : "In this financial climate solicitors and clients cannot afford for these treats to continue, just to satisfy the lifestyles of a few at the top of the profession who regularly run roughshod over members interests. I will therefore be supporting proposals due to be aired at the Law Society's annual general meeting by David Flint of MacRoberts"

The proposals put forward by solicitor David Flint, of the Law Firm, MacRoberts solicitors, which come from letters circulated to solicitors across Scotland, are also reported today in the Scotsman newspaper, where the paper reports that "Mr Flint questioned the increased cost of the chief executive's office, a figure that includes the salary of Lorna Jack, who took the helm in January. The latest draft accounts show that this increased by £90,000 to £326,000 in 2008.

He also highlighted the £98,000 spent on an abortive attempt to relocate the Society's offices in Edinburgh, abandoned in light of a reduction in property values.

Mr Flint also asked whether solicitors paying £665 for the certificate should benefit from the large surplus the Society holds. The 2008 accounts show cash reserves of £1.229 million."

Given the damage the Law Society of Scotland has done to both the legal profession and the interests of the client, there is cause enough for solicitors, and also the public to be angry at the way in which the legal profession's governing body has not only wasted members contributions, but also continues to defy transparency & independent accountability in its operation, while spending millions of pounds in attempts to maintain its sole right to regulate & discipline lawyers in Scotland.

Douglas Mill 4Ex Law Society Chief Executive Douglas Mill was on at least £120k a year and did huge damage to Scots lawyers reputations. A former Council member of the Law Society speaking this morning claimed that in the wake of the Society's now ex Chief Executive Douglas Mill's resignation over the memo scandal, where Mill was brought down after a determined & admirable campaign by Cabinet Secretary for Finance John Swinney to expose corruption at the Law Society, many of the executives on huge salaries at the Society's Drumsheugh Gardens office should either be sacked or forced to resign immediately.

He said : "Many senior officials at the Law Society I know personally, have ended up doing more harm than good for the Scots legal profession.”

“If the membership actually had a vote and a say in things which they are paying for anyway, most of that crowd who are being paid far too much for what they do, would have been gone years ago.”

He went to accuse the Law Society of greed and direct harm to public access to justice : "The ineptitude of officials at the Law Society is not only causing harm to the legal profession, they are, through their waste millions from solicitors annual contributions, and disgraceful mismanagement of client relations, causing direct harm to the public's ability to access legal services in smaller communities, where say for instance, small legal firms and sole practitioners are being forced out of business because they cannot afford to fund the likes of £300,000 salaries for executives at the Law Society to prattle on in a fantasy world like idiots."

An official from a consumer organisation this morning said he found dealing with the Law Society of Scotland to be "rather like trying to bargain with the devil."

He said "The Law Society seem resistant to any change unless it is proposed by the Council itself and even then any such proposals will only address benefits to the profession as long as those changes will directly benefit officials at the Law Society itself."

"This all comes back to a profession being allowed to regulate itself, and as we have just seen with the Banking sector, and the financial calamity its collapse has caused the entire country, professionals in positions of trust, or with access to huge financial power, or those working in the area of law, cannot be trusted to regulate themselves because they make up the rules as they go along, and inevitably something will crack, either from outside, or within."

While the Law Society of Scotland are intensely campaigning against David Flint's proposals to lower the cost of the practicing certificate and questions over the huge salaries of officials, they apparently do not wish to speak to parts of the media they cannot exert control over final versions of reports.

So, splits within the legal profession itself, but this is to be expected, given the way the Law Society of Scotland has treated its own members, and clients alike - spending millions of pounds on shielding the bad apples among Scotland's 10,000 solicitors, and attempting to maintain its position of power of dictating the pace of legal reform in Scotland, while the rest of the profession has to pay for it, with costs ultimately being passed onto the public who also have to suffer poor choice of legal services and lack of access to justice.

It is time for a change, and to begin that change, control of the Law Society of Scotland must be taken away from its Council and the select few at the top of the legal establishment who have no care or general interest in either the welfare of their own members, or the public at large.

The Scotsman reports :

Law Society is 'wasting money of its members', critics claim

Published Date: 26 May 2009
By Christopher Mackie

A ROW over the cost of practising as a solicitor has intensified after the Law Society of Scotland was accused of wasting its members' money.

In a letter circulated throughout the profession, David Flint, a partner in MacRoberts, claimed the Society operated as though it had "an open cheque book" funded by the subscriptions paid to it by Scottish solicitors.

Mr Flint has already tabled a motion at the forthcoming Law Society AGM demanding that the cost of the lawyers' practising certificate be cut from £665 to £400, in the face of the harsh economic climate. The motion was accompanied by a letter to all Scots lawyers asking for support and criticising the Society. It accused the organisation of being a growing bureaucracy that failed to adequately represent the interests of members.

Following a campaign by the Society to rebut the claims, Mr Flint has circulated a second letter, detailing specific areas of waste and urging lawyers to vote for his proposal at the AGM.

In the latest document, Mr Flint said the Society had "demonstrated a singular inability to operate within any reasonable budgetary constraints: they have an open cheque book from the members and they operate accordingly."

Mr Flint questioned the increased cost of the chief executive's office, a figure that includes the salary of Lorna Jack, who took the helm in January. The latest draft accounts show that this increased by £90,000 to £326,000 in 2008.

He also highlighted the £98,000 spent on an abortive attempt to relocate the Society's offices in Edinburgh, abandoned in light of a reduction in property values.

Mr Flint also asked whether solicitors paying £665 for the certificate should benefit from the large surplus the Society holds. The 2008 accounts show cash reserves of £1.229 million.

Mr Flint told The Scotsman: "My concern is members' money is being spent on the administration, rather than on services to members. If you have a surplus being run on a members organisation the surplus belongs to the members and it should be used for their benefit."

The Society said the decision to retain cash was approved by a vote of its members and said the increase in the cost of the chief executive office was misleading as the cost was artificially low in 2007 because of unfilled vacancies. It defended its decision to cancel the relocation of its offices, and described the incurred costs as "reasonable" for a transaction of that size.

The Law Society intends to reduce the cost of the practising certificate, but only after a review is complete. Ms Jack said: "There is a commitment to making a material reduction at this year's SGM in September and we would hope that the profession is prepared to allow the full planning process to be completed and make its decision then."

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Flint might have support but the Law Society can always take his right to practice away if they feel like it.

Anonymous said...

Peter the lawyer said about Penman.

“Saving Private Penman has led to a slew of media coverage of cases involving rogue solicitors and huge corruption scandals within the profession which has tarnished us all for life, ultimately costing all members our reputations and incalculable lost business while the staff within the Society award themselves promotions and huge salaries out of our contributions. They have obviously caused the profession much more harm than good and now be forced out."

YES TO THE LAWYER WHO STATED THE ABOVE, WE DO BELIEVE YOU ARE ALL CRIMINALS, BUT THE PROTECTION OF PENMAN AND OTHERS HAS AS YOU SAY TARNISHED YOU ALL. CLIENTS ARE THE VICTIMS OF CROOKED LAWYERS, AND THE TOP NAZI'S IN THE LAW SOCIETY ARE NOW RIPPING OFF THE PEOPLE THEY ARE PROTECTING, A BIT LIKE AL CAPONE. I WILL NEVER TRUST A LAWYER OR DOCTOR AGAIN, THE ONES I DEALT WITH ARE CHRONIC LIARS. THE PRESENT SETUP AT THE LAW SOCIETY/SCOTTISH LEGAL COMPLAINTS COMMISSION IS A BIT LIKE THE NUREMBERG WAR CRIMES TRIAL WITH THE NAZI PARTY OVERSEEING IT. THE VICTIMS COULD NEVER GET A FAIR HEARING.
IT IS SIMPLE, IF I COMMITTED A CRIME AND A LAWYER DID THE SAME IN THE SAME CIRCUMSTANCES, THE PROCURATOR FISCAL WOULD SEND MY CASE TO COURT AND THE LAWYER WOULD BE EXONERATED. THAT IS WHAT I THINK OF OUR LEGAL SYSTEM.
WE WANT INDEPENDENT REGULATION OF LAWYERS, LIKE WESTMINSTER SELF REGULATION MEANS SELF PROTECTION, AS YOU HIGHLIGHTED WITH THE PENMAN CASE. THE DOWNSIDE FOR YOU IS THAT WE HAVE A FREE PRESS, GOOD JOB THE LAW SOCIETY CANNOT TOTALLY CONTROL THAT. WHEN I WALK PAST A LAW FIRMS OFFICE, I THINK THERE IS ANOTHER BUNCH OF SELF REGULATING LEGALIZED CRIMINALS.

enraged said...

All very well but I dont see any concern for clients from David Flint in his protest over subs.

I take it we dont exist until its time to charge us through the nose for lousy legal work.

Anonymous said...

"Many senior officials at the Law Society I know personally, have ended up doing more harm than good for the Scots legal profession.”

“If the membership actually had a vote and a say in things which they are paying for anyway, most of that crowd who are being paid far too much for what they do, would have been gone years ago.”


PLEASE LISTEN, VICTIMS OF CROOKED LAWYERS PAY THE MOST.
IF CLIENTS HAD A VOTE THE LAWYERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS WOULD HAVE BEEN KICKED OUT OF THIS CORRUPT INSTITUTION, AND LAWYERS REPUTATIONS WOULD BE BETTER FOR IT TODAY.
LISTEN TO ME LAWYERS, YOU WANT CLEANSED, THE ONLY WAY THAT WILL BE POSSIBLE IS A COMPLAINTS HANDLING BODY WITH NO LAWYER, POLICE, ETC INVOLVEMENT. THE ANTI LAWYER INDUSTRY IS GROWING BECAUSE OF THE BENT SYSTEM CALLED SELF REGULATION. LAWYERS HATE CLIENTS BAD MOUTHING OTHER LAWYERS, YOU ARE ALL VICTIMS OF YOUR OWN PROFESSIONAL LOYALTIES YOUR REPUTATIONS ARE IN THE GUTTER. THE BAD ONES HAVE DRAWN ANY GOOD ONES DOWN WITH THEM.

Anonymous said...

Self regulation is destroying the reputation of every lawyer in Scotland.
The Law Society fat cat Nazis need the same treatment as the crooks in Westminster. Get the lawyers out now.

Anonymous said...

People of Scotland.

Please assume every lawyer will steal your money. The Law Society/SLCC will protect them. You clients have NO LEGAL RIGHTS.

Anonymous said...

SLCC Chief Executive Eileen Masterman & Law Society Chief Executive Philip Yelland on £80k+ p.a. but both do same job.
A BIT LIKE TWO MARRRIED MP'S CLAIMING EXPENSES FOR A HOUSE EACH. THEY ARE BOTH STANDING DOWN.

Anonymous said...

The last time I looked 'deceiving the Inland Revenue' was a criminal offence.

Deceiving a bank is also usually treated as fraud.

Penman should have been prosecuted like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

"How two people, Yelland & Masterman can do ostensibly the same job, and get paid over £1300 a week out of our pocket, should not be allowed to continue.”

“If that's not bad enough, the SLCC’s Chair and Chief Executive are on more than £300 a day and board members claim over £350 a day in expenses. What kind of a regime is that when we also have to pay even more to fund the same people doing the same work at the Law Society."

WE AGREE GIVE THEM THE DOUGLAS MILL TREATMENT, A UB40.

Anonymous said...

An official from a consumer organisation this morning said he found dealing with the Law Society of Scotland to be "rather like trying to bargain with the devil."
LIKE TRYING TO BARGAIN WITH THE NAZI'S.

Anonymous said...

Scotland's 10,000 solicitors, Clients I ask myself "are there any honest ones", hard to say the Law Society/SLCC protect the bad ones, Conclusion we must assume they are ALL BAD.

Anonymous said...

So this is what happens when thieves fall out.....

Mr Swinney is no angel either, refusing to speak or even write to the Petitions Committee regarding his constituant's McKenzie Friend Petition.

Anonymous said...

Hope I don't piss you off by saying Douglas Mill was on £200,000 per annum (I think)

Anyway.I think you should be invited to speak at this gathering along with the good Mr Flint.It would do some people a lot of good to hear the other side of the argument but please,bring plenty bodyguards in dark sunglasses for your own (or our own) safety !

Anonymous said...

I was going to say something else but in view of the comments so far I will only say

Steady on people ! Don't burst any blood vessels !

If you all want to come along to The Sheraton Hotel, Festival Square, Edinburgh
on Thursday 28th May 2009 at 2.00 p.m. you can heckle all you want at the AGM.It will add a touch of fun to the usually dull event.

Remember to bring your posters folks so we can have a laugh at you while sipping champagne!

Anonymous said...

We are all crooks ?

Ok,I will go and help myself to our client accounts this afternoon.
If Lorna Jack is on 320k a year I dont see why I shouldnt be.

So long suckers !

Anonymous said...

The salaries of these people are disgusting given all they do is whitewash complaints against bent lawyers.

£80k+ p.a
£350 a day
£1300 a week
£326,000 for one Chief Executive.

Come on ! Who the hell do these people think they are ?

This is absolutely disgusting and after what happened to MPs they should have their salaries cut.Its all self regulation at the end of the day and its lawyers fixing salaries for lawyers or their self regulators.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers, do yourselves a favour and take legal action against crooked lawyers yourselves. Show us some of you are decent?

Anonymous said...

First comment - yes they could but he would probably be all over the press about it as he is already

Anonymous said...

It would be worth letting every client of a lawyer know they are paying for this lot to take a bath in their money !

Anonymous said...

Definitely an overpaid bunch of good for nothings

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The salaries of these people are disgusting given all they do is whitewash complaints against bent lawyers.

£80k+ p.a
£350 a day
£1300 a week
£326,000 for one Chief Executive.

Come on ! Who the hell do these people think they are ?

This is absolutely disgusting and after what happened to MPs they should have their salaries cut.Its all self regulation at the end of the day and its lawyers fixing salaries for lawyers or their self regulators.

2:19 PM

Yes its a bloody disgrace while everyone else will end up on the dole these leeches are looking after themselves once again at public expense

Anonymous said...

David Flint would do well to read what your former Council member of the Law Society said in your piece.

There is more at stake than the level of members subscriptions which Mr Flint would do well to remember.

Anonymous said...

To the comment at 150pm

sipping champagne ?

I think you mean sipping rent boys old chap and since its the Sheraton you will all be right at home !

Dont forget to tell the wife !

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

We are all crooks ?

Ok,I will go and help myself to our client accounts this afternoon.
If Lorna Jack is on 320k a year I dont see why I shouldnt be.

So long suckers !
1:58 PM

GROW UP, WE KNOW ALL LAWYERS ARE CROOKS, WE HAVE DEALT WITH YOUR PROFESSION.

Anonymous said...

I've lost count of the number of titles Mr Yelland,Mill and his cohorts obtain - all by self promotion.

Yelland became "Director of Standards" which then merged with the Client Relations office which he used to head up.

Not much of an event apart from the jump in salary, no doubt at Mr Flint and all his colleague's expense.

Do lawyers actually think that lot at the Law Society are worth anything ?

Anonymous said...

The only one missing from this mob is Fred Goodwin.

Maybe he can find a job regulating lawyers ! The salaries seem to be in his league !

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt at all Peter that your case against Penman has done a lot of damage to legal business in Scotland.I believe we have a mutual friend who has told you that and that your case and its consequences are what brought about a change which admittedly is not running to plan.

You are a very determined campaigner and I hope to hear you speak at a conference one day on your experiences with the legal profession.

Anonymous said...

A solicitor who chairs a community council has appeared in court in connection with the alleged sabotage of a mass cycling event at the weekend.
Lawyer and church elder Alexander Grosset has been accused of scattering carpet tacks along the roads being used by 3,500 cyclists on Sunday afternoon.

NOT ANOTHER ONE?

Anonymous said...

If the SLCC can drop its complaints levy (because the Law Society ordered them to do so) the Law Society can cut subs in half at least.

Anonymous said...

I hope you gave Mr Flint some more ideas than just his rant over members contributions.

You are spot on Mr Cherbi - annual subs to the Law Society and the complaints levy for the SLCC are hitting clients access to legal representation.

Anonymous said...

Yelland on 80k plus for 20 years and his job is to ruin client complaints and protect bent lawyers.Isn't that just sick?

Anonymous said...

interesting the reports on the salaries

Anonymous said...

The irony of lawyers arguing against high fees !

They would never do such a thing for their clients.Greedy bastards

Anonymous said...

"The Society said the decision to retain cash was approved by a vote of its members and said the increase in the cost of the chief executive office was misleading as the cost was artificially low in 2007 because of unfilled vacancies. It defended its decision to cancel the relocation of its offices, and described the incurred costs as "reasonable" for a transaction of that size. "

Is that the best the LSS can come up with ? Definitely the final straw for me.

Anonymous said...

We cannot change professional loyalties between lawyers but we can warn others how they operate and how they shield each other from the consequences of their criminal activities.
Mr Cherbi's case has done the legal profession a lot of damage, but lawyers should remember that it is the corruption in Peter's case that is affecting the professions reputation. Mill's Law Society stopped Peter's legal aid etc, that and other things in the case is what has damaged you all. Peter's blog is brilliant, and he and we are doing what any of you lawyers would do if you were on the recieving end of this injustice. The Law Society of Scotland is damaging all lawyers by protecting the crooks. We victims can accept nothing less than a complaints body devoid of lawyers and their supporters. No lawyer will go against another lawyer for a member of the public, a cosy situation indeed. The anti lawyer industry grows day by day, because we do not accept the status quo.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure about Flint and all this hooha over contributions.

I wonder if its a Law Society ploy to have another go at getting rid of the slcc which they dont want to exist anyway.

If there's trouble the Society can always say its coming from the membership and they have to act rather than take the blame themselves.

Worth looking into I think, Peter.

Anonymous said...

Peter.I have just found your blog.It is amazing !

There are not many people able to speak about the legal profession unless they have fell victim to it and actually survived to tell the tale.You are definitely one of those.

After reading some of the things that happened to you and people you probably know I feel it is about time that lawyers got the same treatment as criminals and are locked up beginning with all of those at the Law society itself

Keep up the good work !

enraged said...

To the comment at 413pm

I agree although I feel that every potential client of a lawyer should be made aware of Peter's blog so that when the inevitable happens (lawyer rips off client) they know how to handle it or avoid the whole thing in the first place by doing as much of the work themselves as they can.

Hire a lawyer and you are basically putting a gun in your mouth.Its just a case of when the lawyer feels like pulling the trigger on you and decorating the wall with what little brains sent you along to the lawyer in the first place !

ACTION NOW said...

Jobless in the UK now around 3millions if the true figure is made known but these greedy shits are getting £1300 a week and more just to protect bent lawyers who steal from their clients

I propose a general uprising to throw out all these wasters and kick out all lawyers and jail the ones who are robbing the rest of us

Anonymous said...

Lots of rent boys hanging around the Sheraton today,I hope the tabloid journos got some good pics of married scumbag lawyers doing the dirty on their wives !

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your comments & emails on this article.

I certainly agree that Mr Flint would have been better incorporating some thoughts regarding the impact his arguments on a reduction in the cost of the annual practising certificate might well have on the public's access to legal services in Scotland.

However, this seems to be more of a straight fight between the membership and the Law Society itself over money, nothing much to do with the interests of clients.

I imagine as some of you have already pointed out, the costs will ultimately be borne by clients anyway.

A number of you do appear to feel angry over the amounts of money being flung at both complaints regulators, while the only job they appear to do well is to whitewash any complaints they get their hands on.

I'd say, given the circumstances, and all the recent publicity on the Westminster expenses scandals, your anger is justified.

I would encourage those of you who feel strongly enough about such issues to protest publicly and ensure words gets around that it is not only politicians who are milking the system. The friends of politicians - lawyers, accountants and so on, are just as guilty for ripping off the public and their clients, as MPs and MSPs are ripping off the entire country and each and every one of us ..

To those of you who left comments regarding my own case, involving Andrew Penman ... well, I can assure you, and every reader, there are literally thousands of Andrew Penmans within the membership of the Law Society of Scotland.

I was just lucky enough that, at the time, the Scotsman newspaper had a sense of reporting and campaigning on such matters .. which at the time it did very well.

What the Penman case did bring out, was a willingness on the media's part to report many more similar cases, where justice was not done for clients, while thoroughly guilty and crooked solicitors were protected by the Law Society of Scotland's system of self regulation and now it seems, the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission's arrogance towards any clients making complaints against their solicitors.

The system has not been cleaned up and it will certainly never be cleaned up from within - there is too much money at stake for those within the Law Society of Scotland, and the membership who would mainly rather help themselves than help the public.

To those who admire the blog .. bear in mind there are many people suffering at the hands of corrupt professionals, and not just lawyers. These victims need help & assistance, and the public must be educated that self regulation is simply another word for corruption.

I was actually invited to the AGM by a solicitor, but I declined to attend. I did not feel there would be anything to be gained for clients or the issues I campaign on, from heading along to the event ...

Anonymous said...

You should be in politics Peter.Its people like you we actually need to take a stand against scum like this.

Hope one day to see you giving them hell in parliament !

Anonymous said...

Just out of interest did Flint contact you at all ?

It seems you both might have the best interests of the profession at heart even if a few snot nosed (or crooked) lawyers dont see it that way !

Anonymous said...

Spot on Peter !

There will never be a better time to out these thugs and shame them for all to see now their political allies are in a mess too.

Also "ACTION NOW" comment is spot on too !!!

Anonymous said...

"To those who admire the blog .. bear in mind there are many people suffering at the hands of corrupt professionals, and not just lawyers. These victims need help & assistance, and the public must be educated that self regulation is simply another word for corruption."

Yes from what I gather from reading your blog there are thousands of complaints a year the Law Society does nothing about.Its time to do the same to the lawyers thats happening to the mps in London.

GET THEM OUT

Anonymous said...

Good Evening Peter

I have sent a letter to the Hamilton Advertiser (below), hopefully they will publish it.


I write regarding the above letter "Once Proud Parliament is now Mother or Corruption" letter from W S McGeary. The Speaker of the house Mr Martin stood in the way of reform at Westminster. There is perhaps some truth that MP's were trying to focus attention on Mr Martin in an attempt to exonerate themselves, but of course they could not escape the attentions of the press.
MP's are now living with the consequences of Freedom of Information laws, and the public exposure of their corrupt expenses claims are there for all to see.
Self regulation creates corruption in any profession. Lawyers investigate complaints from the public about other lawyers, doctors investigate doctors. If any of your readers want to know more about the system they should look at, Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers, www.sacl/info and A Diary of Injustice in Scotland by Peter Cherbi.

Anonymous said...

I noticed a sticker for a car window on the internet, it states "Ban animal testing, use lawyers instead".

Anonymous said...

TAKEN FROM AOL NEWS. Two MPs step down over expenses row

Tory backbencher Julie Kirkbride has succumbed to intense pressure over her expenses by saying she will stand down as an MP.

At the same time, Luton South Labour MP Margaret Moran announced she will also stand down at the next election.
Bromsgrove MP Ms Kirkbride followed her husband, Andrew MacKay, in announcing her departure from parliament at the next general election.
The couple came under fire when it emerged that Commons allowances had been used to simultaneously fund both the homes where they lived.
In a resignation letter to party leader David Cameron, Ms Kirkbride wrote: "Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election for my Bromsgrove constituency. My principal concern has to be for my very loyal local supporters in Bromsgrove whose trust in me has been very humbling in the last few weeks.
"I also want to see the Conservative Party have a great result in next week's elections, which will lead to a real change at the general election and you as our prime minister. I also must take into account the effects on my family."
Margaret Moran, the Luton South MP, has been under fire after it was disclosed that she claimed £22,500 for treating dry rot at her partner's home in Southampton, 100 miles from both her constituency and Westminster.
-----------------------------------
Without the FOI act we would not have known the extent of the expenses abuse.
Clearly the Law Society have much to hide as they do not want FOI Act to apply to them. They are in a much weaker position today.

Anonymous said...

Modest as always Peter.

Penman's antics have destroyed the Law Society's credibility and with it every solicitor in Scotland.
Same goes for the slcc after all you've written about it and the people on it.

I agree with you it will never be cleaned up from inside so we just have to get rid of the lot of them and start again.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Just curious Peter

Did you see Reporting Scotland tonight ?

there was a story on it about kenny MacAskill and an escaped prisoner (again)

Do you think he should resign over it ?

Anonymous said...

People of Scotland, name ans shame your lawyer. Check the following website.

SOLICITORS FROM HELL

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 2.48pm

No thanks, although I wouldn't mind regulating them the independent way ...

# Anonymous @ 3.25pm

No he did not, and I do not expect him to.

I believe Mr Flint's primary interest is in the profession itself, nothing to do with the interests of clients from what I read in the Scotsman.

# Anonymous @ 7.18pm

Thanks, and many good points in your letter too.

FOI should certainly apply to all professions and public services, along with fully independent, accountable regulation.

# Anonymous @ 8.39pm

Clearly a good example of Freedom of Information legislation exposing corruption and actions tantamount to criminality.

# Anonymous @ 9.43pm

Yes, I agree with your statement. I hope Mr Penman is well thought of in the legal profession for all the trouble he has caused ...

# Anonymous @ 10.23pm

Yes I saw Reporting Scotland and that particular report on the second prisoner escape.

I don't think there is much chance of Mr MacAskill resigning over that (shouldnt it be someone from the SPS to go ?) but there are a number of other issues which do merit the replacement of Kenny MacAskill as Justice Secretary, one for instance that he is not doing a good job on reform of regulation of legal services, or reform of public access to justice.

However, as I understand matters, Mr MacAskill has an abused, disabled and very ill constituent whom he refuses to help on an issue which he, in his position could probably resolve in an afternoon.

If the man wont resign for allowing someone to die, which the case may very well end up in, then god only knows what could give Scotland a better Justice Secretary.

For replacements at Justice, I vote Alex Neil .. and the good thing is he isn't a lawyer !

Anonymous said...

A wise answer Peter.

I would never figure you for a politician but regulation is definitely your area of expertise.

I wouldn't want to be a politician on the take with you on the hunt !

Anonymous said...

Alex Neil at justice ?

Yes I'd go for that.Its about time people got their letters answered to the Justice Secretary properly and action taken on them rather than allow MacAskill to sit back and do nothing.

Who is the case you mention about one of MacAskill's constituents?

Anonymous said...

I dont think Neil would want the justice post now that Macaskill has damaged the office so much.Another choice ?

Anonymous said...

"The way the Law Society handled the scandal surrounding Andrew Penman in the 1990s, and derailed his prosecution before the SSDT has cost us all dearly."
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The lawyer who stated this is correct. The way things are now, people do not trust the profession, and rightly so. Lawyers have a licence to steal, because they know their masters will protect them. The Law Society cannot stomach the prosecution of their members. The civil war brewing in the profession, is not about the way clients who complain are treated. It is about fat cats in the Law Society/SLCC, not giving lawyers value for money. Justice for clients of crooked lawyers is not on their priority list. They are all the same as Douglas Mill, crooks hell bent of protecting the few at the expense of the people of Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Parliament should pass legislation to stop MP's employing relatives in any capacity.
Independent regulation must now apply to all professions and public bodies. We have a subculture of self protection in this country, and this needs to be obliterated. Those who stand against this principle are criminals themselves.