Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission branded ‘costly rubber stamp for crooked lawyers’ after leaks show backing for Law Society’s cover ups

slcc squareScottish Legal Complaints Commission lacks will to tackle complaints against lawyers despite huge public funding. The release of results of investigations carried out by the £4.5million joint taxpayer-lawyer funded Scottish Legal Complaints Commission into complaints raised by members of the public against law firms & individual solicitors, show that what was hailed as a ‘new broom’ in the world of regulating complaints against ‘crooked lawyers’ is in actuality, little more than a weak willed rubber stamp for corruption in the world of self regulation of the Scots legal profession.

Today for the first time, the results of investigations carried out by the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission reveal the astonishing lack of detail in their case handling procedures, and lack of will to even document the specific terms of complaints made against legal firms by clients whose cases ended up becoming victims of the legal firms they had approached to deal with difficult legal issues.

In the papers recently released, the client had been completely unaware they had a right to go to the Law Society of Scotland and contest the work of their legal representatives .. but the Law Society used their ‘time bar’ limitations to refuse to investigate the issues, which the SLCC itself backed.

Investigation #1 : SLCC said Law Society of Scotland did nothing wrong …

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Investigation #2 : SLCC claimed Law Society did nothing wrong (again)

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However, while the Law Society claimed the above complaints were outwith time bar, it is a fact the Law Society have on several occasions, investigated complaints made against law firms in cases where discovery of evidence was made many years later … making this case, and the SLCC’s refusal to do anything, rather questionable.

A spokesman for a consumer organisation who viewed the ‘results’ of the SLCC’s investigations into the way the Law Society had handled complaints against two Glasgow law firms, branded the contents '”lacklustre” and “a farce”, going onto condemn the organisation as a raw deal for Scotland.

He said : “I see little point in allowing the SLCC to continue its role if this amount of detail is all that is going to come out of investigations carried out by the SLCC into consumer complaints against solicitors. I’m sorry our organisation supported the SLCC now I’ve seen this … it’s a raw deal for the public after all the effort put in to get an improvement in consumer protection in the legal services market we badly need in Scotland.”

“There isn’t even any detail in the papers as to what the complaint was all about in the first place and the events surrounding it. Even the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman used to give a complete account of the original complaint and the stages it went through at the Law Society of Scotland, amounting usually to some 30 pages plus of details. Here we have as little detail as possible which is not what the public expects of a regulator appointed to clean up the severe problems of self regulation of the legal profession.”

Well …after two Scottish Parliamentary inquiries into regulation of the legal profession, and the passing of the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 which created the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission to clean up corruption in the world of complaints regulation against crooked lawyers … one would think that clients deserve a little more than this .. especially after well over £2 million of taxpayers money has been soaked up by the quango and a further £2.4 million from the legal profession itself.

You can read my earlier articles on the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission here : Scottish Legal Complaints Commission - a failure from the start

SLCC website changeSLCC engages in website window dressing but still reluctant to investigate crooked lawyers. The SLCC, apparently anxious that its public image is now much less than trustworthy, is embarking on a reluctant media campaign ‘to promote itself to the community at large’ .. where leaflets and ‘road shows’ will inform the public of its existence and the services it provides consumers and solicitors. The plans may prove somewhat rocky as campaign groups and critics have pledged to attend the road shows and ask difficult questions of the way the SLCC operates and deals with the public, particularly in the wake of recent scandals which have seen SLCC board members appear in the press, apparently content to attack consumers & clients of ‘crooked lawyers’ while performing their costly regulatory roles.

Its fairly obvious the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission’s heart just isn’t in their work from the documents I’ve seen today, some published, some not.

As far as investigations of complaints against lawyers go, reports must be much more substantive in their account of matters and go into the complete detail of the issues which have caused the client to go to the SLCC or the Law Society of Scotland in the first place, otherwise no lessons will be learned by anyone, the client will never get a fair hearing, and justice will never be seen to be done (again) when it comes to dealing with crooked lawyers.

As one client put it tonight “No matter what this lawyer’s protection racket will do, they will never be trusted by the public who have been lied to too many times over complaints against crooked lawyers”.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time for another round of thumbscrews and whipping at the slcc to establish your sources Peter ?

Anonymous said...

Good evening Peter,

Your latest posting is no surprise, because your previous work has highlighted splendidly the corruption of this Law Society/SLCC. We are pouring money into the SLCC, and it is culturally opposed to helping clients with investigations into the legal profession. The SLCC is not fit for the purpose it was set up for, it is fit for lawyers because it is another department of the Law Society. This is MacAskill's baby, and he is responsible. He should resign because he is not interested in client justice.

Parliament, the GMC, Law Society SLCC, they all suffer the same rot. Self regulation means they do what they want, for now. What we are witnessing here is the poison lawyers bring when included in a quango that is meant to independent, so that it can protect clients. Is should be disbanded today.

Anonymous said...

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission lacks will to tackle complaints against lawyers despite huge public funding.
=====================================
We are witnessing a desperate profession, against the ropes because they have abused clients for decades. They are reaping what they have sown, you lawyer rats days are numbered.

Including lawyers in an organisation created to investigate lawyers will never work. The lawyers and their supporters must be ousted now, if the commission is to be independent.

Anonymous said...

The Legal Services Ombudsman had recorded - and complained about - the abuses which continue to arise from the unreliable self regulatory status of the Scottish Legal Profession.

So that was stopped and the position abolished.

Now the Law Society's 'poodle', the SLCC, censor FOI releases, absorb huge amounts of taxpayers money, and follow Mr MacAskill's agenda....protect the profession 'we all owe a great debt to'.

The disgracefully short time limit must be changed, to comply for example with the 3 year time limit allowed those who have suffered a personal injury.

To expect people, many of whom may already bein very poor health and have just come through the additional traumatic experience of a Court case, to collate and present all the necessary evidence in a matter of months - most likely unaided by any solicitor - is nothing more than a conspiracy against the public interest.

Anonymous said...

No wonder there are so many crooked lawyers. This slcc and law society are a green light to these bastards. MacAskill is an admirer of criminals, he must be one himself.

Anonymous said...

I agree there should be a complete detailed account of the original complaint in the SLCC's report,otherwise what is anyone (including the complainant) going to make of it all.

Sloppy at best although I detect an extreme reluctance on the SLCC's part to say anything negative about the Law Society.

Just who is pulling the strings ?!

Anonymous said...

Dallas McMillan & Lawford Kidd ! 'nuff said !!

Anonymous said...

A very original idea Peter.
Publish all their complaints investigations and we will see how useless Macaskill's quango really is.

Anonymous said...

the escaped monkeys at Edinburgh zoo should join the slcc - they might do a better job of [eating] crooked lawyers for breakfast !

Anonymous said...

read one of the pages and that was enough
these slcc people are overpaid for 7 pages of bollocks

Anonymous said...

The Law Society and the SLCC are a disgrace. These two are covering each others backs, which is no surprise given the anti client hate mail, rants from the commission.

New name, The Scottish Lawyer Coverup Commission. The corruption the Law Society is infamous for has spread like wildfire to the commission. We are fighting the same organisation, because these lawyers are protecting their incomes. Totally independent regulation will cripple them financially, but that's too bad. Every lawyer male and female from law school to retirement are bastards, like parasitic organisms seeking out other victims. They should all be executed, because the grave is the only place from where they can do clients no harm. Bastards of the first degree, who should be boiled in oil.

Anonymous said...

Great Scottish justice fails again and I am so glad I live in England !

Anonymous said...

The terms of the original complaint are no longer referred to in the results of the SLCC's investigation because the Law Society asked the practice be stopped.

Anonymous said...

yet again it confirms all along what you have been saying - the slcc is useless for people to complain against lawyers

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info Mr Cherbi,I have a complaint currently with the SLCC and have heard not a whisper.I suspect the same will happen to me as the Law Society has refused to investigate what happened on a time bar too but it was only 9 months ago and we only found out what the lawyer did after the court contacted us 4 weeks ago

Anonymous said...

Time limits serve the guilty no the innocent.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding blog Mr Cherbi and I send my best wishes to that poor person who has been given no justice at the slcc.

We all need to join forces against the crooked legal establishment and give them one in the eye !

Anonymous said...

"They should all be executed, because the grave is the only place from where they can do clients no harm. Bastards of the first degree, who should be boiled in oil".

Well said, Hopefully Peter will put some of the complaints sent to the Commission on his website, Christ Peter you are giving these lawyers a hard time, bloody poetic justice.

The dead lawyers are the best, pity the universities are producing more lawyer scum. Be careful law students, you do not want your name splattered over the internet if you are crooked.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Time for another round of thumbscrews and whipping at the slcc to establish your sources Peter" ?
8:48 PM

Yes well said, informants will suffer water boarding, they must have their own Gestapo with Obergruppenfuhrer Mill controlling things from Glasgow University, what a Nazi profession lawyers are.

Anonymous said...

had to laugh today when that woman was sent to jail for embezzling from the Tories ! but on the other hand I don't like the way the judges are pissing about on the Lockerbie case with their heart surgeries which just seems like a bloody rotten excuses really

Anonymous said...

There should be prosecutions here, that is how to change things.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Time limits serve the guilty no the innocent.

3:58 PM

SPOT ON !!!!

Anonymous said...

that client should sue the slcc

justice4all said...

Hi all I wish I could sue the slcc and the Law Society but after fighting a tribunal case and a personal injury claim in which I had some sucess in both unfortunately those sucesses were not enough to be joyous about, but after a long 7 years fighting these battles I no longer have the strength or resources to ensue another battle.
I am only glad that my plight may help those fighting to improve the system for all.
Best wishes to all

Jail all Crooked Lawyers & Accountants Forever said...

Another bent accountant from Icas Peter :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/8142628.stm

Man took £128,000 for 'good life'
Money
Rennie took the money over the period of a year

An accountant who embezzled almost £130,000 as he funded his girlfriend's "luxury" lifestyle has been jailed for a year.

Andrew Rennie, 26, gave her £38,000 for designer jewellery, clothes and cosmetic surgery, and bought a flat for them to live in.

He felt pressurised because his former partner "enjoyed the good life", Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard.

Rennie admitted taking the money from the Don Fishing Company Ltd.

Rennie, of Westhill, Aberdeenshire, took the money while working as an accounts assistant between September 2004 and December 2005.

Peter Cherbi said...

# justice4all @ 6.22pm

Yes .. it must have been a trying time .. and things are not being made easier by the SLCC.

I will endeavour to publicise as much of what happened to help others in similar cases.