Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hospitality in the land of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

SLCCRevelations from Scottish Legal Complaints Commission show no register was kept until August 2008. Documents released today under the Freedom of Information Act from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission reveal that strangely, no register of interests had been kept at the joint taxpayer-legal profession funded law complaints body until August 2008, this despite the quango being in receipt of millions of pounds of taxpayers money while it awaited the eventual collection of the Penman complaints levy from the legal profession to keep the commission ‘ticking over’.

Jane IrvineJane Irvine, the SLCC’s Chair is the only board member to have declared any hospitality in the newly released register of Members Gifts & Hospitality. The papers released today from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission show that only one member, the SLCC Chairman, Jane Irvine, has received (and declared) hospitality from the legal profession and organisations connected with it. However, the register did not reflect hospitality received by one of the SLCC’s lay board members, Dr Linda Pollock, who, the SLCC today confirmed, had alongside her husband, attended a ball given by an Edinburgh law firm.

In responding to queries on actual hospitality, the SLCC said today : “ In searching for the information requested I have ascertained that no Register existed prior to August last year. I have also sought the Members' recollection as to whether they had received gifts or hospitality and they have all responded that they have not.”

“In clarification of my request regarding hospitality Dr Pollock informed me that she had declared an invitation to the Chair who ascertained that the invitation was for Dr Pollock's husband to attend a Ball on 30 May 2008 by the law firm Gillespie Macandrew LLP. Dr Pollock attended as his partner.”

A legal insider earlier today commented on the revelations, saying : “The lack of a register being drafted for the start of members paid work at the SLCC, which began in January 2008 raises questions over what has been going on all this time, especially after the revelations that not even a members code of conduct existed until just a few weeks ago, and that only came about after the newspapers began to take an interest in the SLCC.”

He continued : “It all seems a bit of an amateur set-up at the SLCC, although a costly one at over 4 million pounds to solicitors and the taxpayer. Everyone knew what was needed to get this organisation going so why couldn’t all this have been in place when the money started pouring in ?”

SLCC Members Gifts & Hospitality RegisterHospitality rules at Scottish Legal Complaints Commission. While there are no particular horrors contained in today’s disclosures from the SLCC, there are certainly some interesting organisations revealed to be keen to keep the SLCC ‘on side’, such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, itself a self regulator, well known by many to have protected crooked accountants from serious complaints over the years, and also, perhaps a surprising note to some of an invite from the Medical Protection Society, who describe themselves as “… the leading provider of comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world” which sounds almost familiar to how Marsh UK describe themselves, as the leading provider of professional indemnity to the legal profession. Others who regularly invite the SLCC over for bouts of socialising are the Law Society of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates, and, dare I say .. the usual suspects.

Since there appear to be some issues of hospitality which are not indicated in the actual register itself, which the SLCC do not publish, I decided to publish this information today, which perhaps might give a clearer impression of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission to those who may have to deal with it at some stage in relation to complaints about the legal profession.

Perhaps as there is so much hospitality on offer from the legal profession and those connected with it to the ‘independent’ SLCC, there should be a rolling register of interests kept updated regularly … hopefully without too much of the forgetfulness that has marked the SLCC’s previous attempts at transparency …

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

seems a bit out of order that anyone from the slcc should be taking hospitality from lawyers if they are supposed to be independent of them and investigating complaints

gives me an idea about another lawyer filled quango

Anonymous said...

you scratch my back .. I sit at your table ..

Anonymous said...

The so called independent Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is being wooed by the most corrupt protectors of lawyers, doctors and accountants.

Clearly there are many sweetners being passed around to many more recipients than just Jane Irvine. A legal complaints quango will never work as long as those who protect these professions have influence with the people in the quango.

I know what lawyers and doctors are like. Any member of the public who complains about their lawyer to the SLCC, are wasting their time. There is no place a client can go. Right now the legal profession can do what they want, when they want, and their colleagues and our stinking parliament will protect them.

Next they will be buying Jane Irvine a house. No wonder she wanted a senior legal figure appointed to oversee appointments at the SLCC. Nothing has changed, the SLCC are the same as the Law Society.

All self regulators have bulletproof complaints systems. What do clients and patients have, nothing, back in the dark ages.

Anonymous said...

We are the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, be good to us and we will be good to you self regulators.

The SLCC Mission Statement.

Anonymous said...

The term "Medical Protection Society" creeps me out !

Anonymous said...

Very sloppy organisation, and demonstrating Linda Costelloe-Baker's foresight when she described the bill which brought the SLCC into being as 'a mess'.

Just about sums it up.

Anonymous said...

Clearly those who are above the law, want to remain there. A lawyer protecting rabble, otherwise known as the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

No client will ever obtain justice here.

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 9.56pm

Yes I agree ...

# Anonymous @ 10.10pm

Old habits ...

# Anonymous @ 10.36pm

Exactly .. and that is why self regulation must end, for the legal profession and all others .. self regulation is nothing short of a liars charter.

I would describe the SLCC as little more than a front organisation for the Law Society, who for now have the chance to claim that complaints are 'independently' scrutinised by the SLCC when in fact its the same old faces shuffled around on different chairs.

# Anonymous @ 10.50pm

Yes .. that would certainly save any debate on their real intentions !

# Anonymous @ 10.53pm

I agree ... although I have a feeling it was meant to be this way ... all this 'sloppiness' and amateur style organisation is being used as a cover for allowing the Law Society to get its way on complaints ... as usual.

# Anonymous @ 10.54pm

Yes, I agree ... there will be no justice for clients of rogue lawyers at the SLCC ... not with the Law Society pulling all the strings.

Anonymous said...

So nothing really changes does it Peter.Handout city comes to the slcc oh and I'm not buying that no one else has received a wee bit hospitality at this overpaid quango !

Anonymous said...

Jane does move in interesting circles !
Anyway I think you hit the nail right on the head Peter - the slcc has been designed to appear to blunder through its duties just to mask the fact it is there to protect the legal profession from clients instead of independently regulating complaints.

Anonymous said...

I find it very hard to believe only Jane Irvine received hospitality

Anonymous said...

1052pm

same here

I doubt any patient with experience of it would call it the 'patient protection society'!

Anonymous said...

Exactly .. and that is why self regulation must end, for the legal profession and all others .. self regulation is nothing short of a liars charter.
-------------------------------------
Liars charter, that is right Peter, which puts the self regulators above prosecution, correct Mr Douglas Mill.

Anonymous said...

Just to tell you I have a complaint with the Law Society about my former lawyer you might be interested in.

He sent fake detectives round to my house with a warrant to take my pc and all letters between me and my lawyer.When I insisted on ringing the local police station they said they had been called back on their mobile phone and never returned and our local police station said there was no record of their names or any warrant.
This happened after our bank informed us our lawyer had used our address as a security for a loan.The bank first said they could cooperate after we reported the whole thing to the police but now they are playing dumb and one of the policemen on the case said its probably due to fear of what will come out.
If any other of your readers has this experience please write about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

Can you tell us who Yelland sent the farmer to, the firm who represented the Legal Defence union?

Anonymous said...

The way the politicians are behaving they might as well have made Douglas Mill First Minister. With a few exceptions most politicians want to maintain the status quo. The MSP's must be getting a lot of sweetners too.

Clearly the LPLA Act is a joke because independent regulation of the legal profession is impossible at the moment. How can clients complain about lawyers when the recipients of those complaints are having their stomach's and pockets filled by those with much to hide, to maintain this corrupt system.

Clients of Scottish lawyers, you do not have anywhere to go to have your case against a member of the legal profession heard, because the current system is a lawyers protection charter. This is a form of legal terrorism.

The accountants and medics offering sweetners know if the legal profession lost their self regulatory status they will follow.
Self regulators are criminals and even NHS local resolution is a joke. They find out a doctor is corrupt and then they batten down the hatches. NHS Primary Care Motherwell are experts at coverup, as Mr Walsh will tell you.

It is no surprise these professions are chronic liars, who will do anything (in my opinion even murder) to protect their own colleagues. A crooked pathologist, murdering doctors with a lot to cover up means a dead patient. You think I am crazy, where reputations are on the line anything is possible as Mr Cummings the victim of the Law Society high command will tell you.

Self regulation is the same as total power, and the latter is dictatorship. If citizens in any country are powerless especially in a democracy, there is something serious wrong. Extremist rights are being upheld here to oppress the layperson. No wonder it has been called a Banana republic.

Do not make the mistake of thinking self regulators are highly intelligent either, this is wrong they are highly protected.

The symbol the scales of justice are totally tipped in the self regulators favour, criminals all of them.

One day the Scottish public will trust no self regulator, and see them for the criminals they are.

Anonymous said...

disgusting

I have a complaint the SLCC have shuffled to the Law Society and am getting nowhere while they all head to dinners and pretend they are doing good when they are doing nothing

Peter Cherbi said...

# Anonymous @ 11.50am

I've spoken to sources at the SLCC and can confirm the following :

The details given to the SLCC's research team identified the legal firm of Levy McRae as those who represented the client who committed suicide.The research team were told the same firm worked for the Legal Defence Union - a fact known to the Law Society of Scotland at the time.

# Anonymous @ 11.48am

I have two cases previously reported to me of similar incidents where men posing as Police Officers attended the properties of clients who had complained against their solicitors, asking to see correspondence and the clients computers.

Please get in touch with me via my profile page or post a further comment marked "Do Not Publish" and I will see what I can to do assist you and publicise these incidents.

Anonymous said...

Very serious if lawyers are using "fake police" to intimidate people.I think you have to expose this scandal very soon.

Anonymous said...

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission is the Law Society all over again.

Kenny MacAskill has shown mercy to the Lockerbie Bomber. Would he have done so if Pan Am 103 had been full of lawyers, no disrespect to the victims or their families.

Anonymous said...

The Medical Protection Society is the leading provider of comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world.

We are a mutual, not-for-profit medical defence organisation, offering more than 260,000 members help with legal and ethical problems (WE WILL COVER EVERYTHING UP FOR OUR MEMBERS) that arise from their professional practice. This includes clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

ANOTHER DEFENCE UNION FOR THE MEDICS, NOTHING FOR PATIENTS, THAT SEEMS TO BE THE WAY OF THINGS.

Anonymous said...

MPS aims to help doctors with ethical and legal problems that arise from their clinical practice. The services we provide have a number of aims:

Helping doctors with specific problems they face.

Promoting safer practice, reducing the number of problems in the future.

Lobbying to bring about a sensible regulatory environment. (SELF REGULATION, THAT MOST SINISTER SETUP THAT KEEPS YOUR MEMBERS OUT OF THE BROWN STUFF).

Anonymous said...

This non registering of members interests is the same in principle as the donations to political parties, keep everything under the carpet and you will benefit as a result.

Someone told me the other day they wanted to complain about the way their lawyer was dealing with their business. I told them they can complain to the Law Society/SLCC but in my opinion they were wasting their time. Clearly I was correct.

Anonymous said...

snouts in the trough !

Anonymous said...

having read your blog i now understand why terrorists get out of jail in scotland

TOO MANY DAMN LAWYERS

Anonymous said...

Yes I'm sure that list of ***** want to invite the slcc over for tea and biscuits for absolutely no reason other than just to socialise !

When do they announce they will start to make lampshades out of clients who complain about their lawyers ?

Anonymous said...

The attack on Mr Cummings by the Law Society of Scotland. The police investigation into the attack falters. What has happened, why are the police not investigating further?

Do the Lawyers control the police?

Can the Law Society murder clients and the police fail to investigate the crime?

Democracy or dictatorship? Where are we heading? Think about it?

Anonymous said...

Solicitors from Hell...

People of Scotland here is what this trash will do to you.

Move slowly.

Risk your deal if you need to move fast.

They don't read the documents carefully.

Your phone calls won't be returned.

Your questions won't be answered.

Your instructions will be ignored.

They won't alert you to any potential problems.

...sound familiar?
Don't let them do it to others!


Name and shame your lawyer on solicitors from hell. They can do what they want to you.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is amazing!I found out so much about this SOB MacAskill today from reading your stuff.
How the hell he is still Secretary for Justice is unbelievable after what you report goes on in his name !!

You should be on CNN !

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your continuing comments on this article.

Certain issues have been raised today requiring further investigation but I can assure readers these issues will be looked into.

On the matter of the legal firm who were identified to the SLCC's research team as representing a client with a claim against the Master Policy, who went on to commit suicide, more will be written about this case, in a specific article coming soon ...

Finally, as always, if you have a complaint against your legal representatives currently being investigated by the Law Society of Scotland or the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, my advice is to make the terms of your complaint as public as possible, for your own protection, and that of others.

Anonymous said...

money money money !!